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Before you tackle anything else on your 2016 “To Do” list, make this the year you create innovation processes for your organization.

What’s the big hurry?

According to Accenture Strategy, 26 percent of companies have no formal system in place – or no system at all – to achieve innovation. Yet, if you have a viable business in 2016, you are already responding to change with necessary innovation. Are you capturing your own processes? Are you optimizing your results? If you truly wish to harness the powers of inspiration and agility to drive your organization, you must build innovation into your everyday business structure. Why?

  • Execution is all. Great ideas aren’t worth much if they aren’t put into action. Identifying and building the processes that turn inspiration into reality – not once, but over and over again – makes innovation productive.
  • Innovation begets innovation. If you tried something new in 2015, chances are good you said “Uh oh” at least once. Uh oh, these systems aren’t compatible. Uh oh, our frontline staff is confused. Uh oh, our new mobile interface makes our website look dated. The more you innovate, the more you must continually innovate.
  • Innovation can be efficient. We don’t always associate creativity with efficiency, but when the need for innovation is constant, making this leap is critical. You wouldn’t manage other key processes – tracking and thwarting fraud, for example – on the fly. By mapping out routine steps, you make each new effort much less effortful.
  • Improving your process can improve results. Innovation necessarily involves some trial and error. On the other hand, innovation experts like THINK partner OpenIDEO are creating processes that ensure innovation is responsive to human demand and feasible in the real world. Think of it as innovation’s answer to the old adage: “Measure twice, cut once.”

Championing innovation isn’t new, especially not here at THINK. But this is precisely why the way you approach innovation is important in 2016. Where we once learned to admire innovation — then to understand it and embrace it — this year’s challenge is to embody it. Innovation has become so essential and so relentless that it can no longer stand apart from everything else you do.

Whether this year brings the introduction of new technology, the improved implementation of existing technology, a new way of communicating new ideas within your organization, or an enhanced understanding of what your members need, let this be the year you stopped talking about innovation and started rolling it out – not just once, but as a matter of practice.