This is the perfect time to take a half-year checkpoint on your innovation efforts. On July 1, you’ll have six months left to get something done, or, complete something already underway.
Here’s the checkpoint survey, suitable to print and take to your next meeting:
- What have you accomplished so far this year? How many “cycles” have you accomplished? How many ideas generated? How many promoted? How many prototypes done, how many concepts put in front of management? Don’t know? I’d call that a red flag. Kudo’s to those who have efforts underway and are pushing the envelope. For those who have nothing to show for the first half of 2012 — what are you waiting for? That is a dead serious question and if you find yourself answering it with more than one sentence you are talking bull-crap.
- How much effort has been spent “studying” innovation process? Look, I’ve got nothing against process (I wrote a book about creative problem solving process, Jack’s Notebook), but process is not The Answer. A one page process that everybody follows and understands is better than an 80 page thesis. Articulate a process on one page, and then, get the heck after it.
- Is it unclear who’s in charge of innovation at your organisation? This is not necessarily bad, but look around the org — what’s your sense of things happening between the cracks? If the cracks aren’t sprouting innovation weeds, and nobody knows who’s in charge — well, you’re in the weeds. Maybe it’s time for you to step up and do what nobody else is doing.
- Do you want to get anything done this year? It’s not too late to do a nice piece of work before the year ends — if you get after it Now. You’d have to get serious, and, you’d have to work your tail off. But around New Year’s Eve you could look in the mirror and be proud of yourself. C’mon, go for it!
Okay, so, it’s bad news/good news. Six months is a short time frame for innovation (unless we are talking personal innovation, in which case, it’s a lifetime). If you’re a corporate type with some role to play in innovation, the good news is there is still time to impact 2012. Maybe not bottom line results, but imagine if you will a major head of steam going into 2013. 2013!
Time to get after it folks.
If you need help getting a jumpstart, please, get in touch. The KILN team is ready with the tools to help you accelerate your efforts.