Indications from developments in innovation management suggest to me that there are some areas which are readily available for improvement.
With increasing effectiveness of activities on the input side, the pressure to resolve the shortcomings further downstream will inevitably increase. We are seeing increases in tactical activity to generate and manage larger numbers of ideas and related innovations. This is occurring both internally within organizations and externally through open innovation. At least in part, this increase in capacity is facilitated by the availability of new and improved processes and tools. Consequently, many organizations are likely to be able to handle larger numbers of innovation opportunities than in the past.
An important part of the process, however, is the selection of these opportunities for further development. Among organizations which are enhancing their management of innovation, it is in this selection aspect of this process that there appear to be significant opportunities for improvement.
Customers are the ultimate recipients of the value generated by these innovation processes and are, ultimately the only providers of resources for their continuation. So, an understanding of the value attributed to products by customers might be expected to be the basis for some important guidance, at the very least, for the selection of development activities.
As far as I can tell: “it ain’t necessarily so”! It is not clear that many organizations apply a strategic approach to understanding the ways in which innovations are selected, or that this selection is based on an understanding of the ways in which value is attributed by customers.
As our understanding of the management of the overall process increases, hopefully our meta-innovation will provide solutions more rapidly in this area.