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A Matter of Six Steps to Innovation

Feb 22, 2019

Over the years I’ve spent working with innovators, I’ve identified six steps in the trajectory of idea from idea to products at scale.

The six basic steps for an innovation process are:

  • Idea
  • Product
  • Evaluation
  • Approval
  • Payment
  • Scale

I know, I know…  your specific innovation journey may have more or fewer steps. Yes, and the sequence of these steps may be different in your innovation journey. However, after working with hundreds of innovators and listening to what seems like thousands of idea pitches, I believe the most successful innovations trace out steps similar to these six listed above.

Let’s look at it this way: Three steps get you to a product. Three steps get you to a market.

My point is this: take these six steps, consider your product, consider your market and make them into your own six step process. Finally, share your six step process with everyone on your team or who is working with your team.

There is nothing so solidifying for a team as (a) knowing why you are doing what you are doing and (b) where you are headed.

Importantly, by starting with a simple six step, product phase – market phase process, your team will be able to center on a process. Once centered, the team can move together to flush out the more precise steps and then follow them as a team. The key to effective use of this six-step process tool is to use it so you and your team will think all the way through your product development steps and market approach steps.

With these simple but complete steps in place, your team may then move on to tackle the more precise or nuanced adaptation of the steps for your customer base or industry sector. There is no doubt that very distinct differences will arise between innovators depending on the needs of a specific industry or challenges facing a specific market segment.

My hope for you and your team is this: using these six basic steps will prevent you from feeling stuck or blocked at the beginning of your innovation journey. These six steps are a jumping-off framework to lead you to your steps – to the stages that fit your team, situation, product and market.

Finally, please do not overlook the shades of learning that may take place as you tweak or translate these basic steps and tailor them to your particular scenario. Make these steps your own. The specific complexity you will confront within any specific industry is a great topic to explore and understand. For our purposes here, it is enough that you and your team will look all the way down the line – from the conception of your idea into your product and the steps of that product entering your target market.

More on topics including steps for developing your product and entering your target market in future posts.  Keep in touch with us and learn the latest by signing up

Here’s to you and all the steps you will take to get your innovations to market!

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