Are you prepared to innovate?
The key to successful innovation is to fail fast. At the start of the innovation funnel a creative approach should be encouraged to explore new ideas but then a structured process should be employed to reduce the risk of failure as the cost and business implications become progressively greater.
This structured process is captured in the Pentathlon Framework. Just as a high performance pentathlon athlete excels in five sports, for innovative companies there are five key elements for optimum performance.
The Pentathlon Framework identifies five key elements for optimum performance
- A method for ideas generation in response to problems and challenges.
- A process for selection and prioritization of ideas with incomplete information.
- Strong project management skills to move an idea through implementation to market in an environment of high uncertainty.
- An innovation strategy is required to identify where innovation is most needed in order to guide and influence ideas selection and implementation. Senior management buy-in is required as implementation may involve acquisition, a new supply chain or new skills.
- An enterprise culture – people and organisations – that can manage the tension between taking risks and the business imperative to minimise failure as products and services near market.
The Pentathlon framework may appear inward looking but, like the Olympics, there is an arena where real business happens, so an innovation strategy needs strong outward links with the external world.
Does this framework resonate with your perspective of R&D management? Which elements are the biggest drivers of success? We welcome your input.
Read more in “Innovation Management: Effective strategy and implementation” by Keith Goffin and Rick Mitchell. Palgrave Macmillan 2016 (3rd edition)