If you are a business leader looking to innovate, one thing to keep in mind from the start is that your ideas are only as impactful as they are timely. Speed of innovation matters. Small and medium-sized businesses can compete with the most innovative companies when they generate, evaluate, and act on ideas quickly. Successful innovators aim to deliver and implement their innovations when stakeholders need or want them the most, often before their competitors.
Speed of Transmission Matters
You need a platform to deliver your ideas faster because faster generates impact. For example, consider the difference between using a LAN connection versus high speed Internet. Or, consider if you had an urgent letter to send, would you send it in the mail or use a next day courier service? Would you prefer to take a direct flight or have three layovers between you and your destination? Speed of transmission matters.
In fact, many of the disruptive innovations that have succeeded in recent history have achieved higher speed of transmission. Consider email as opposed to letters in the mail, computer printing versus offset printing, and the rise of the flash drive over disks to name a few. Speed of idea transmission is something that we demand in other areas, and it is even more important when dealing with idea programs.
Innovation Success Depends on Timeliness
Does the innovation meet a current or future need? Does it provide something desirable or necessary that no one or nothing else has provided before? The answers to these questions are relative; they change over time. What is innovative today may be obsolete six months from now. Ralph’s breakthrough ideas for redesigning a product may be worth pursuing today, but someone else may be working on the same developments and have a design patent-pending tomorrow. Innovation speed is critical and relies on the speed of transmission of ideas in order for innovations to have an impact.
Tips to Increase Speed of Idea Transmission
How do you increase speed of idea transmission? There are plenty of ways that you can do this, and here are a few tips to get you started:
- Tip #1: Establish a communication plan for your idea program.
Make sure that team members know how to communicate, when to communicate, and what to communicate.
- Tip #2: Invest in an idea management system.
Use technology to your advantage. There are a number of affordable and effective systems available to increase the speed of idea transmission, allowing team member to share, respond, and evaluate ideas quickly.
- Tip #3: Evaluate speed of idea transmission.
Incorporate a measure of timeliness when evaluating innovation success. Set goals, establish metrics, and take steps to improve speed and timeliness.
Make speed of idea transmission and management your competitive advantage. You can increase idea transmission through planning and using technology and tools that are available. Not only will this allow you to increase your speed of innovation, it will increase the overall impact of your innovation.