You know how I said before that I’m learning how to turn dreams into reality, there is one bitter truth I discovered in the process. As much as innovation practitioners are about the dreaming part, as much as they are idea butchers in the biggest massacre of all time. A sad truth, but necessary to de-risk the process!
☠️ Innovation has an average mortality rate of 86% and that’s even after launching the solution in the market. That means, most Ideas die and we’re better off without them.
Okay, hold up before you start pointing a gun at me. I understand that our ideas are precious to us, but de-risking the innovation process is at the core mandate of any innovation ‘manager’. You see when we undergo an ideation endeavor focusing on a problem, the process is creative in nature and divergent. Meaning the sky is the limit and Hooray we reached cloud 9. The result is we have more ideas than we can begin to count, and then the process shifts analytical and convergent. And it’s Yippee Ki Yay, here comes the evaluation by concept definition exercise.
💣 The sooner we kill the ideas that prove unworthy or invaluable, the better off we are and the less time, efforts, and resources we lose in the process.
Now don’t get excited sharpening your machete yet, there is a process to follow and ideas gradually are ‘de-selected’ at different parts of it. Some refer to them as stage gates, others the Go/No-Go/Pivot points. There are different tests, experiments, Minimum Viable Products, and even Proofs Of Concepts to perform here before making a final verdict. And trust me, we all have fallen into that trap that “My idea is the best idea in the whole wide world”. It’s natural, and we are only human.
And if your wondering what those stages are: (1) Ideas, (2) Concept, (3) Feasibility, (4) Development, (5) Scale Up, (6) Launch, and (7) Post Launch. A lesson I will never forget from the Head of Kaizen and previous 3M executive.