Practical strategies for implementing innovation

by Stephen Horan, PhD

HandsIn a previous article we identified five questions that can help us make informed decisions about adopting promising innovations within our own organizations.  Once the decision is made to move forward with an innovation, it is important to use the right strategies to achieve the implementation goals.  In this article we define seven practical strategies for implementing an adopted innovation within an organization.

1.     Demonstrate Top Leadership Support

Innovation requires change.  Even a seemingly simple innovation may require changes to policies, procedures, systems, communications, responsibilities, and lines of authority.  Leadership support is essential for assuring people that the innovation is a high priority, and that the necessary changes are authorized by leadership.  Do not underestimate the importance of leadership support.  Countless innovations have failed for lack of endorsement by leadership.

2.     Make Smart Decisions about Scale and Speed of Implementation

Implementing innovation requires resources and risk.  One way to conserve resources and mitigate risk is to test innovations in pilot settings before moving to full implementation.  Think carefully about whether to test your innovation in one or more pilot settings prior to full implementation.  A little more time and testing on the front end can help reduce the risk of large-scale failure.

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