Do you want your company to be recognized as the innovation leader within your industry? Do you want to deliver the next disruptive innovation like Apple, Facebook, Airbnb, and Uber? Here’s a tip on how you can start today: stop creating and start innovating!

Maybe your company struggles with managing innovation. You have many idea “light bulbs” in the pipeline, but you don’t see results. You ask yourself: Why don’t we get more results from our innovation efforts? The truth is that there is no direct correlation between the number of ideas and innovation success. In fact, some even argue that the constant creation of ideas might be the very reason why the company is not innovating successfully.1 The reason for this is because “innovation” is so much more than “an idea,” and these terms are not interchangeable. A true innovation creates value for the consumer or user – and as a result, for the company that brings that innovation to the market – and an idea alone cannot do that.

So what should you do? Research has shown that companies successful in innovation usually have a “tight collar” in their idea-to-market process.2 This means that ideas should be critically reviewed, and only a few should be selected for the initial investment of concept development, and even fewer for development. Take a look at the diagram below: the focus of best-practice companies is on the quality of the high-value ideas and not on the mere quantity of ideas. More selective decision-making regarding which ideas enter your pipeline can generate twice as much revenue from new products.

innovating is easier with a tight collar on your idea pipeline

Are you tired of not generating results from your innovation?

Do you also want to double your revenue from your new products? Here are 10 steps to move from the idea creation stage to commercialization, and take your idea from a killer concept to the next big thing:

idea1. Look critically at your ideas. Develop your ideas until they become high-value ideas and select only the best ones to move forward for investment. Make sure that these ideas have either a strong commercial potential or a strong alignment with your company’s strategic goals.
search-the-web2. Research your market. Make sure you know the market, the consumers, and the competition. Research every angle and decide how to position your idea.
write3. Write a plan. Be specific on what your idea is, who your market is, and how you can measure its success and in what time frame.
people4. Connect with idea submitters who have submitted related ideas or are subject matter experts. Be open to their ideas because this can help the development of your idea into something bigger and better.
talking5. Ask the community for feedback. Create idea flows for employees, customers, suppliers, partners, and prospects to encourage collaboration and discussion. This will increase the value and acceptance of this idea.
scorecard6. Score your ideas cross-functionally with a scorecard – try to do this objectively.
presentation7.Present your plan.
gears8. Test your ideas for a defined period. Review the idea after this period and adjust.
kill bad ideas9. Kill your darlings. Don’t be afraid to adjust or remove things that can distract your market from the added value.
thumbs-up10.Go! Go! Go!

Stop putting time and effort into the wrong things. Innovation is more than just idea generation. Select just a few good high-value ideas, develop these into great high-value ideas, and move these to the next stage in your innovation lifecycle. Because it’s true: less is more. And fewer ideas just might result in more revenue generated by your new products. Start today!

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Levitt, T. (2002, August). Creativity Is Not Enough. Retrieved from Harvard Business Review:

2 PDMA, PDI, Cap Gemini

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