Research has indicated that potentially six in every seven new product ideas will fail. To innovate successfully companies need a strong ideation process in place. Without ideas you will have nothing new to sell – but too many ideas will lead to a lack of focus.
Ideas don’t always have to be ground-breaking. A winning idea could simply be a new twist on what you do already – it could be a better way of addressing an existing problem; a new approach which will encourage new business or a feature that ensures that your current users remain loyal.
There are many reasons that new product ideas will fail – the timing may not be right – you may not clearly understand or address the customer’s key need or problem or you may not have the right business partners. In a fiercely competitive market where the margins between success and failure are tight you need a strong process and culture of innovation management to ensure you have a strong portfolio of ideas, and that you focus on the ones with the best chance of success.
Innovation Management is key to the progression of ideas that will evolve your core strategic objectives. As a start-up entrepreneur or established company you cannot afford to chase every new idea – and “gut feel” is an often used but ultimately poor litmus test of an idea’s potential. So where do you place your bets? Which ideas are worth investing in? What criteria do you use to rank new ideas and pick the ones that will yield the best ROI.
There are tools and methodologies that your company can use to:
- Foster a culture of innovation – encourage people to think outside the box.
- Manage a portfolio of generated ideas – only invest in the ideas that are likely to deliver the best return.
- Ensure you have the right balance in your portfolio to mitigate against exposing the company to only “high risk” projects and ensuring you don’t forget about the “bread and butter” projects that keep the lights on!
- Validating your ideas with the market – ensuring you have a compelling problem to solve that customers will be willing to pay for?
Having a more structured approach to innovation management can only increase your chances of success –so seek to apply methodologies that will give you a fighting chance of being the 1 idea out of 7 that will succeed!