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LEAD Innovation Blog

Read our latest articles on innovation management and innovation in a wide range of industries.

Date: 13-Aug-2019
Posted by: Franz Emprechtinger
Category: Innovation goals

5 tips on how to achieve defined innovation goals

Despite intensive efforts, innovations often do not lead to the hoped-for market success. In this article you will read what you should pay attention to in order to achieve your innovation goals.


1. Create clarity about corporate vision, goals and strategy

One of the reasons for the failure of innovations is management mistakes based on an unclear or missing corporate and innovation strategy: For those responsible for innovation it is difficult to determine which topics have priority or what to look for due to the lack of a sound basis for decision-making. Incorrect product strategies or R&D activities are then the undesirable effects of unclear goals and strategies.

The basis of innovation activity must be the corporate vision, which determines the direction in which a company wants to develop: Since innovation equals development, the innovation orientation of a company must start from the corporate vision and continue into the corporate strategy via the corporate goals.

The central starting point for the development of innovation goals and innovation strategy is therefore a clearly defined corporate strategy. Every innovation must be in line with the corporate strategy and contribute to the achievement of the company's goals. The innovation strategy derived from the corporate strategy defines how the company will develop future potential for success and thus achieve the set innovation goals.


2. Define what innovation means to you

Innovation is often understood to mean different things. Ultimately, it doesn't matter how innovation is defined in the literature or in other companies. If you want to strategically align and control your innovation management with objectives, you must first define internally what you understand by innovation. The internal clarification of terms also forms the basis for the meaningful use of key figures in innovation management.

Only you can define a definition of innovation that is suitable for your company: Does innovation mean for you a small idea, which means an increase in value for your company and for your customers? Is the innovation relevant for the entire industry or is it even a major technological change? You will find a guideline on how to define innovation for your company in 4 steps in our article "Definition Innovation".


3. Analyze what has made the company successful so far

The analysis of your own innovation past gives you insight into what innovation is in your company and supports you in defining innovation goals for the future. The innovation history chart, the flop pedigree and innovation indicators have proven to be effective instruments.  

The innovation family tree gives you an overview of those innovations that have been successful on the market in the past. It also gives you valuable information on HOW you have achieved innovation success. Combined with the trend and needs development of the future, the innovation family tree provides you with important insights for future innovation projects.

Innovations that have failed can be documented in the flop pedigree. From this, additional information can be obtained that completes the picture of the innovation past. The determination of innovation indicators such as innovation rate, innovation quota or degree of innovation gives you further insights and supports you in the internal definition of innovation.


4. Align your innovation activity with the innovation goals

The starting point of innovation activities is often determined by the generation of ideas. In practice, however, it has proven advantageous to understand innovation goals as overarching components of an innovation process and to align the process with the goals.

The innovation process should therefore not only start with the generation of ideas, but also with the definition of innovation goals that are aligned with the corporate strategy: What types of innovation are targeted? How high should the degree of innovation be? How many innovations should be implemented in which areas? The decision for certain innovation goals determines the starting point of the innovation process and defines the strategies and process steps derived from it.


5. Review your innovation goals annually

Only a few companies measure the impact of innovations and check innovation targets using key figures or a strategy review. However, innovation goals and strategy should be regularly validated to adapt them to current market needs or regulatory requirements. Therefore, already within the framework of the innovation strategy, define how you can measure the achievement and success of an innovation. This ensures that your company can profit sustainably from its innovation activities and that acceptance within the company remains intact.


Conclusion: Achieve innovation goals

For the innovation success of your company it is indispensable to coordinate your innovation activities with a clearly formulated corporate strategy. You also need to know what innovation means for your company. Valuable information about this can be obtained by analysing your innovation past. The coordination of the innovation process with the innovation goals as well as a periodic monitoring of innovation activities and innovation goals are further meaningful measures to achieve your innovation and company goals.

Defining innovation goals

Franz Emprechtinger

Born in Ried im Innkreis. As former Head of Innovation, he was responsible for the entire project management and specializes in the areas of fuzzy front end and business model innovation.

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