How organisations are delivering significant innovation results and outcomes through their innovation quick wins.
Our recent innovation research study, best practice visits to highly innovative organisations, and our client’s case studies have provided new insights into the critical role innovation quick wins play in delivering results fast.
These innovation quick wins may not be the ground-breaking and cutting-edge breakthroughs and disruptions such as:
The Bionic Ear
The Black Box Flight Recorder
AI Assistants such as Google Assistant and Siri
The Meat-free Burger
Fitness Trackers on your wrist
However, innovation quick wins are essential in a balanced innovation portfolio. They are crucial to earning credibility and trust and providing evidence that the innovation strategy is heading in the right direction. They also create momentum for the ground-breaking and cutting-edge breakthroughs over the medium and long-term horizons.
What are Innovation Quick Wins?
We are defining “innovation quick wins” as the innovation initiatives that deliver a tangible outcome within 12 months — whether that is simplifying a process, building a new capability, launching a new offering or a business model, or entering new markets.
In one organization, where we explored their innovation results in a private session, their fastest time from ideation to first revenue was 17 days and their most significant innovation (which went through 134 iterations), generated $130 million of new revenue within 12 months.
Examples of Innovation Quick Wins that can Deliver Results in 12 Months:
Our innovation research identified that organizations need a balanced portfolio of innovations, that is incremental innovation, adjacent innovation and transformational innovation.
Innovation initiatives that deliver results and outcomes within 12 months are essential in balanced portfolios. Innovation quick wins typically fit within the incremental and the adjacent innovation strategic focus areas.
A critical question for organizations is where should you strategically allocate your innovation efforts? Achieving the right balance across all three types of innovations is essential for long term sustainability.
How to Focus on Quick Wins?
We know that the innovation journey progresses through a lifecycle of different phases or stages. In our recent Innovation Study, we identified the percentage of the overall effort (taking into consideration both time and resourcing effort), required in each innovation phase and in managing the innovation program.
Innovation Sprints help empower employees to develop and strengthen their business ideas. This approach helps bring many ideas from the front line into the innovation portfolio.
Developing and strengthening business ideas which progress into the innovation quick wins need to be closely aligned with business goals and strategies.
Delivering quick wins within 12 months of launching a new Innovation Strategy or Program is highly motivating for both innovation teams and the organization. The innovation quick wins allow innovation teams to continue learning about the customer’s needs and provides opportunities to put these learnings into action and drive results. They also help front line staff and innovation teams feel more empowered and skilled to develop incremental innovations and cultivates internal champions for the next innovation round.
Innovation quick wins play an essential role in building the innovation culture through demonstrating progress to the executive leadership team and communicating the innovation project outcomes throughout the organisation through internal newsletters, awards, social media channels and videos.
Are Innovative Organizations More Profitable?
A recent study published in the MIT Sloan Management Review researched this question across five years of data from 154 companies.
The companies in this study all used a common platform that enabled employees to share ideas in response to challenges created by management, or comment or vote on ideas shared by others.
They analyzed the ideation rate. In this context, the winning or successful ideas means employee-generated ideas that were selected by management for active development and implementation.
They examined the relationship between the ideation rate and the financial metrics for the organizations and found a significant correlation between the ideation rate at these organizations and growth in profit or net income. The higher the number of strong business ideas, the faster they grew.
Innovation Sprints are an essential initiative within an organization's overall innovation strategy. They are used at the front end of the innovation journey, to develop, test and strengthen business ideas. Successful innovation sprints reduce the time to create strong business ideas into days, not weeks or months.
Innovation Sprints accelerate the early phase of the innovation process; they clarify the concept and the milestones to undertake innovation projects.
Innovation Sprints are suitable for a variety of business ideas and opportunities, identifying and developing incremental improvements in key business areas, simplifying a business process, building a new capability, launching a new offering, reconfiguring the business model, or entering new marketplaces.
Chase has recently developed its Innovation Sprint program based on eight years of mentoring and guiding 34 organizations that have received innovation seed funding, and the innovation best practices identified in the innovation research studies and best practice visits to highly innovative organizations.