Blog: 7 Rules for Innovation: #5 Process

Seven Rules for Innovation: #5 Process

Sep. 23, 2010 — Many companies truly want to innovate, but don’t know where to start. It all begins with defining a clear, straight-forward process. If you want success, you simply have to create, implement, and enforce a process for how innovative ideas and projects will flow through your organization from early stage to completion.

Without getting too technical or obtuse in the course of a 300 word blog post, here are some of the general questions you’ll need to be prepared to answer up front:

    • How are concepts found or uncovered in your company? How could that be better?
    • Who needs to be involved in reviewing and making decisions on “go forward” strategies?
    • What are the stages a project or concept must go through to move from development to action? (Make it as few as possible).
    • What are the criteria and benchmarks for moving the concept through each of these phases?
    • Who are the folks who need to be involved in enforcing the rules and criteria at each various stage?
    • What are the approximate costs of each stage and do you have the money earmarked to execute?
    • Who is ultimately accountable?

If you can answer most or all of these questions, then you’re starting to fill out the data you need to map the process. Now think of the workflow which a concept must travel through and create a diagram of all of these stages.

If at all possible, it’s highly important to hire employees that have “been there and seen it before”. Before you bring in a consultant to teach you the ways of innovation, see who you already have in your company that are experienced with process. Innovation is no different than any other strategic or functional business process, and needs to be built and managed by folks whose clear strengths are in these areas.

If your company does a lot of talking about innovation, but really isn’t producing measurable results, then you’re definitely in the majority. Chances are what’s missing is either strong leadership or a solid process. The good news is you can easily change both of those things.


For more information contact:

MindMatters Technologies, Inc.
308 East Main Street
Carnegie, PA 15106

1-412-489-5900 x4

John Stowell, Director of Innovation, Zep Inc.

"StageTrak is very customizable to your needs. Once it's up and running it's pretty intuitive. It's much simpler to operate than most of its competitors."

"We avoided $750,000 in cost in North American alone last year because we're being more selective and going after better intellectual property."

Kelly Teemant

"Flagpole offers novel social marketing techniques to partner and collaborate with the National Poison Control Center community."

VP Science & Technology, PPG Industries

"The MindMatters solution is the catalyst for generating growth opportunities and new sources of revenue."

Tom Mauss, Chief Executive Officer

"We were impressed with MindMatters’ entire Step by Step Innovation process. They helped us identify areas where we might fail, and successfully navigated around those obstacles."

"Our R&D idea submissions have tripled over the whole of the previous year."

Gregg Edwards, Chief People Officer

"Allows us to not only capitalize on the brilliance of our employees, but also to collaborate on organizational issues in a much more engaging, satisfying way."

Director of R&D

"The MindMatters software has really worked out for our team. It has enabled us to develop a process that effectively mines the innovative thoughts of R&D. Our invention disclosure count is through the roof compared to pre-MindMatters numbers."

More Info

Would you like more information on our proven process?  Schedule a discussion online, or call us now at
412-489-5900 x4.

In 2002, 8,254 civil cases related to intellectual property theft were filed in U.S. courts.
U.S. Department of Justice
The fastest-growing U.S. companies tend to foster innovation.
Harnessing Innovation, PriceWaterhouse Coopers
In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.


Albert Einstein
All told, 69 percent of the executives who participated ranked innovation as one of their company’s top-three strategic priorities.
Boston Consulting Group Survey
Intellect and innovation are the sources of virtually all economic value, growth, and strategic edge today.
James Brian Quinn, Professor of Management, Dartmouth College
The best way to predict the future is to invent it.
Dr. Alan Kay, Disney Imagineering

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