Innovation Audit

When did you last do an innovation audit of your company?


If innovation is important in your business, then you must be able to measure it's cost, and it's effectiveness. A company accountant could help set up a system to measure ROI (return on investment) for innovation expenditure. In addition there are tax incentives in the UK for research and development, so you can get innovation for free! A simple way of measuring ROI is to start new projects that will have a measurable financial return. This is typical of a cost reduction, or a six-sigma project.


How can a team be made more innovative, creative, and productive?


    1- When the team is formed, it's members should be considered for diversity of skills and interests.

    Think about the analogy of a quiz team. If there are experts in a number of subjects, they will be able to tackle almost any question. If they all have the same specialism, their combined knowledge is narrow, and not much improvement on an individual.


    2 - Use a  technique for brainstorming or idea creation (see book review section).


    3 - Make the working environment needs to be right.

    Management are responsible for the environment, and this must encourage and reward creative activities. A good management team will have processes for encouraging new ideas, and turning them into products, services, etc.


How can you increase your innovation skills TODAY?


    Innovation needs ideas, so start with ideas. Everyone, and every business, can improve their own creativity, and their ability to generate ideas. Start with some proven techniques listed in the book review section of this site.

    The misconception is that a new idea somehow happens from nothing. People say this is why children are very creative. It turns out that children's creativity is almost always a reflection of what is happening elsewhere in their lives. Having a limited knowledge-base forces children to make associations between normally unrelated subjects. When adults  harness this ability to make unusual associations, then they have an enormous benefit over children, because greater knowledge leads to more possible associations.



    How can you increase your innovation skills LONG TERM?


    The number of ideas that can be created by making unusual associations increases by having a wide and diverse knowledge. The long term key to idea creation is knowledge and the associations of normally unrelated ideas. What surprises most people is that knowledge helps creativity.