Cheat Sheet: Innovation FAQs by FutureThink


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                                                                                    Innovation FAQs

Who? What? Why? How?
Our clients constantly ask us questions about the best way to manage innovation. What’s interesting is that we
are asked the same questions over and over again, suggesting that organizations – regardless of industry or size
- have the same issues when it comes to innovation.
Here is a list of frequently asked questions – and our responses – that we get about innovation. We’re certain
that they’ll add insights into making innovation more effective in your organization.

General Questions
Q: Where do I start with my innovation efforts? I know you break innovation capabilities into four key areas
(Strategy, Ideas, Process and Climate) – but what comes first?
A: Set your strategy for innovation first. Define what innovation means to your business and what it will do for
your business in the short and long-term.
Once you know what you expect from your innovation efforts and the type of innovation you’re looking for, you
can more easily generate the right ideas, set a process in place that helps find and grow these ideas, and build
a climate that provides the resources and support to keep getting ideas again and again and again.
In parallel with setting your strategy – we recommend putting some ‘Quick Win’ innovations in motion to show
that leadership is serious about making innovation happen – and not just a buzzword in your organization.

Q: When it comes to innovation, everyone talks about the ‘big guys’ – like P&G and GE - but what does a small
company like us need to do to be innovative? How is it different between a small company and a large
Whether you’re a big company of small company, the same principles apply when it comes to innovation. You
still need 4 things – a Strategy, Ideas, Process and Climate. Very often, small and big companies can learn
from each other when it comes to innovation as they share similar issues.
However, there are some differences:
   Smaller companies tend to have less resources ($, people) available to them, but tend to be more
   resourceful as a result. Small companies also tend to have less bureaucracy and are more willing to take
   risks so they can often go to market more quickly than a larger company. They are more accepting of RISK
   and CHANGE.
   Big companies have money, but small companies have more momentum. For big companies, innovation is
   about profit/differ
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