It's well known that getting large enterprises to innovate requires a Herculean effort. But according to Mary Mesaglio, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, a simple set of three questions can keep innovation on track.
“Many leaders fall into the trap of trying to tackle innovation challenges simultaneously, which confuses things,” says Mesaglio. “Instead, it's critical that they ask themselves these three questions in this order.”
No. 1: Does This Idea Have Value?
Every great idea should demonstrate a deep understanding of who it will help and how. In other words, before you make anything new, know exactly who you are making it for.
Early prototypes render a vague idea more concrete by describing it using more than words. “This could be a drawing, a photo, a video, a simulation - anything that moves the idea from totally conceptual to somewhat tangible,” says Mesaglio. “That’s not to say that the prototype should lock in a particular solution. Its purpose is to clarify a new idea sufficiently to be able to make an early call on whether to pursue it or not.”
No. 2: What Shape Should This Idea Take?
There are two further important points to consider here - will this idea further the strategy and how big could the value could be?
The next step is to shape the idea more precisely, beyond the rough early prototype. The critical thing at this stage is to resist trying to predict everything in advance, although security or regulatory considerations should now be included.