Design around the four key phases to innovation.
Here's why: Innovation isn’t just about ideas, its about insights, prototypes and commercial projects too. Needs will always change but the phases of innovation will always remain.
Phase 1 - Investigation: This is all about discovering insights. Ensure you have a process that generate insights from your stats (eg. sales, mktg, refunds, breakdowns etc.), insights from new emerging trends, and insights into what customer needs, desires, aversions and obstructions are.
Phase 2 - Ideation: Make time to generate ideas and lots of them. Be that by setting a KPI for the no. of ideas created at each weekly mtg. Drop expectations of quality. Quality follows quantity.
Phase 3 - Iteration: Ensure you have processes to test & prototype ideas rapidly and cost effectively to minimise risk and gain certainty.
Phase 4 - Commercialisation: Treat innovation as seriously as any other part of the business by creating metrics that measure the number of ideas, insights and prototypes created each quarter. Have processes that allow innovation projects ideas to become billable projects.