“Innovation” has become a popular buzz word across private, non-profit, and public organizations. While imaging the many exciting opportunities successful innovation can provide, it is easy for organizations to forget that innovation is a process, not a goal. It is the job of a strong organizational leader (or association manager) to help a group understand this while guiding them to clearly answer the following questions:
- Why do you want to innovate?
- What exactly do you want to innovate on?
- How would you measure the success of your results?
Groups may desire increased process efficiency, better programmatic value for money, or an uptick in membership. They may want to innovate on products, delivery methods, or communication streams. They may care more about the results of quantitative return on investment analyses or qualitative exit surveys. Each of these answers, and countless more, are valid.
No matter what the answers are, if you can lead your organization to carefully consider to answer these questions you will help ensure that resources – time, money, energy, and will – are not spent needlessly on “innovating” for innovation’s sake.