Stop Pretending, and Start Innovating

I saw a really interesting position listed on the vacancies list called Head of Innovation the other day. I love the idea of innovation and I have sometimes been called ‘innovative’ and it got me thinking, if that were me, what would innovation need to thrive? Innovation doesn’t just happen, I don’t suppose. It needs certain parameters to happen. But what might those parameters be? Too restrictive and innovation is stifled. Too broad and nothing ever gets done. So what are the components of innovation? Well, here are my ideas:


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A nine (and a half) step strategic process

Last time out was my seven starter points for strategic thinking and today I’m going to talk through the nine (and a half) step strategic process I’ve been following in my new role.

Step 1 – Know yourself

Sounds obvious, right? But this is where you’ve got to start. This isn’t about just knowing ‘I’m Sam and I’m an [fill in the blank]’. Knowing yourself is fundamental stuff – WHY do you do what you’re setting out to do with this strategy. Not just the stuff at the end of it (like selling stuff, engaging people, turning a profit) but what’s a the core. You might like to go back to the starter points to determine what you’re about.

When you know what you stand for, you’ll be able to determine your vision and mission. Vision and mission differ – to have both, I think, is relatively important. Your vision is virtually unobtainable – it’s the utopia you are striving for. Your mission is focused on the length of the strategy (i.e. what do you see will happen in 3-5 years from now?).

Your vision and mission will lead to loads of questions about ‘how will we know’? This is also where you need to establish some goals and targets.

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