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Five steps towards radical innovation in organisations

Anders Ørding Olsen | mandag morgen | 7 july 2017

Read the full article in Danish 

Anders Ørding Olsen, a business design expert at PA Consulting Group, talks about how many valuable ideas for new products and services are never realised because many organisations find it hard to structure, prioritise and select ideas. To ensure that their best ideas are realised as successful innovations in the market, they can take five steps. 

Firstly, organisations need to bridge creativity with innovation in order to develop concrete ideas. In many organisations, this requires a more planned approach to creativity that will allow them to structure, prioritise and select the most promising ideas and focus on commercialising them. 

Secondly, they need an ideas library. Some of the more radical ideas may not show a direct commercial potential but may have the greatest potential in the long run and should be kept alive until the organisation, business model, market or technology is ready for them to be realised.

Thirdly, they will be wise to work with both incremental and radical innovation at the same time. This will allow them to balance short sighted improvements of the existing revenue and a long term focus on new sources of income. 

The fourth step is to decide on how to categorise and select ideas. Often companies reject the more radical ideas and choose to continue working with what they know already and run the risk of being disrupted when a competitor develops the same idea – Kodak being a prime example of this. 

If organisations become better at assessing how radical ideas are and what impact they have on the organisation, it will be easier for them to protect the radical ideas they often need. This therefore allows them to become reality instead of being killed by business-as-usual processes, structures, incentives or organisational narrow-mindedness. 

The fifth and final step is for organisations to continuously develop their criteria for selecting the right ideas. In addition to the four suggestions already mentioned, organisations can use a score from 1 to 5 to determine how radical an idea is. Also, setting up concrete targets for the content of the ideas library and what sources they will come from will ensure a steady pipeline both on a short-term and long-term basis.

Anders Ørding Olsen is a business design expert at PA Consulting Group

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