Your Innovation ‘To-Do’ List

Innovation is as much a philosophy as it is a science. Look from the philosophical perspective and you come to a fork in the road, what some refer to as a strategic inflection point. You can continue to use the leadership and management methods of the past to drive your organization into the future, or you can recognize the fact that the rate of change has accelerated significantly and new skills are required to make you and your organization relevant. Here’s a sampling of some of the shocking statistics from The Emerging Future, a consulting organization:

  • In 10 years, technology will be a thousand times more advanced.
  • 18 to 20 years out, technological advancements will be hundreds of thousands to a million times more advanced.
  • In 30 years, technology will be a billion times more advanced.
  • In 40 years, technology will be a trillion times more advanced. This jump is so beyond our current knowledge base that it’s difficult to imagine.
  • In 50 years, technology will be a quadrillion times more advanced, leading to an explosion of highly intelligent biological, non-biological, micro, nano, virtual, mixed, and morphing life forms colonizing the solar system and beyond. Life spans will develop into life continuums.

Like I said, it’s shocking. This information shouldn’t be taken lightly. “Makers” will be the primary inheritors and users of these technologies. This timeline is a cautionary tale that suggests current industry leaders should start implementing strategic initiatives that use the techniques of makers with forthcoming technologies. But technology alone is not enough. As a leader, you must be aware of few select tenets when assessing and implementing a “Breaker” strategy. Here’s a checklist to ensure you take the correct concepts into consideration.

Innovation Checklist

  1. Do not develop an innovation infrastructure without first having an outside innovation readiness audit.
  2. Identify innovation gaps, speed bumps, and barriers and eliminate them before you launch your innovation initiative.
  3. Build out cultural, systems, and technological infrastructures to drive collaboration, insights, and innovation.
  4. Do not launch without absolute leadership commitment. You will need to have a budget, a leadership commitment, and a roadmap before pressing the “go” button.
  5. Build out innovation processes that are fast, fun, functional, and non-fractional.
  6. Half-baked initiatives always fail, so make certain that you have created everything required. This will significantly improve your initiative’s success.
  7. Develop well-defined measurements to calculate your initiative’s success; report successes weekly to both leadership and stakeholders.
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