The first step of implementing any innovation process is clearly defining your innovation goals. This includes your desired outcomes and key business objectives, both in terms of your top-level organisational goals (macro goals), and also the more innovation-specific aims (micro goals).
Macro Innovation Goals
Macro innovation goals relate to the overarching role and purpose of innovation itself within your business: they are the top-level, long-term organisational goals. They are a great starting point for discussions, and are particularly useful for motivating your entire team, getting buy-in from key stakeholders and keeping everyone on the same page.
Examples of Macro Innovation Goals
For the most part, the purpose of innovation is going to be to create value for your organisation. This could be through:
- Becoming a market leader
- Increasing employee retention rate
- Launching new products or services
- Outperforming competitors.
However, when it comes to actually implementing a robust innovation process, they are not the complete picture. They can sometimes be so broad that they’re unlikely to help you actually structure an implementation plan, and focusing on them too much can even steer you off-course, if you haven’t put smaller, more manageable goals in place.
While these big goals are important, the main purpose of clearly establishing your macro innovation goals is to help you define your micro innovation goals.
Micro Innovation Goals
Clear, manageable micro innovation goals are the key to your innovation programme success. They are typically shorter-term goals that are specific to your strategic or project needs: measurable, achievable outcomes for every step of your overarching plan.
Before you launch into any innovation process, you need to take an appropriate amount of time to explore, unpack and lay out these micro innovation goals and objectives. You’ll also need to agree with stakeholders at every level what success looks like at each step of the way. If you skip this step, and only present your macro goals, you risk your team losing focus and interest along the way.
Examples of Micro Innovation Goals
Defining your milestones, measurables and outcomes will help everyone to stay engaged throughout a lengthy innovation process. These might include:
- Optimising existing processes
- Increasing efficiency
- Participation in your innovation programme targets
- Improving existing products or services.
Defining Your Innovation Goals
The best way to kick off this process is by engaging your senior stakeholders, who should be able to answer some or all of the following questions:
- What are your key short-term and long-term business objectives for the firm?
- What are the primary challenges that the firm faces?
- How does the firm currently innovate and implement new ideas to achieve goals?
- How does the firm engage with employees and identify talent?
- What rewards and recognition processes currently exist?
Using this information, you should be able to clearly define the objectives and parameters that will shape your innovation goals, as well as preempting any possible roadblocks along the way. This process may also help you to determine who should take the lead in implementing innovation within your business.