The 5th Condition: Facilitate the Funnel

Innovation practitioners are facilitators, not innovators. We leave that for the cool kids on the block.

Welcome to the innovation funnel, the core theory of innovation practice. For those who are familiar with basic economics theory, you know how the theory of supply & demand is the base of the whole science. That simple diagram of supply equals demand for the point of equilibrium, it is literally the foundation of all economic studies “Ceteris Paribus”. That is exactly the case with the innovation funnel, sorry to say that if you don’t know it then you will never understand the innovation discipline.

🗞 Focus on facilitating the funnel, moving ideas from the starting point to the market is what innovation is about. And that is the base of practicing innovation.

There are 5 different processes related to different stages, and ideas are narrowed down through the first 4 steps:

  1. Opportunity Identification
  2. Opportunity Selection
  3. Development & Testing
  4. Production & Launch
  5. Managing R&D Portfolio, which spans across the initial processes.

You see, there are different ‘schools of thought’ in innovation. But this one is constant and acts as the foundational understanding to managing it. I’ve seen an endless number of diagrams and different interpretations, and they all reflect the same thing.

🏂 Funnel the ideas down, minimize your risks and increase your chances of success by following the process.

Hence, why you have to view yourself as a facilitator rather than innovator. This will protect you from falling into the different pitfalls of failure, plus it’s so much more powerful when you engage people and let them do all the thinking. That’s why any need for new ideas is never a challenging thing, if you have the right combination of minds to listen to.

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