Tag Archives: innovation planning

How to Craft a Strategic Innovation Plan

How to Craft a Strategic Innovation Plan

GUEST POST from Art Inteligencia

Cross-sector partnering and collaboration amongst organizations have been seen as an effective means to achieve greater innovation that can help propel businesses further. A strategic innovation plan is a comprehensive document that lays out goals and processes for project execution and explains how the company can leverage its resources to make its innovations successful.

In this article, we will explore how to craft a comprehensive innovation plan that leverages organizational strengths and allows businesses to reach their business objectives.

1. Identify Desired Outcomes

The first step in crafting an innovation plan is to determine what the desired business objectives are. Be as specific and detailed as possible, outlining Phase 1, 2, and beyond requirements. This will determine how the company will measure and reward its key players and how it will navigate the stakeholder process.

2. Assess Strengths and Weaknesses

Have a clear understanding of the company’s strengths and weaknesses to guide your innovation plan. This includes internal resources, such as personnel and technology, and external resources, like partner organizations, funding sources, and opportunities. This will also help you identify any potential pitfalls that might derail your plan or areas that need to be addressed in order to maximize success.

3. Evaluate and Analyze Business Risks

With the desired outcomes and resources in mind, it is important to identify potential risks associated with the innovation plan. This includes operational, technological, financial, competitive, political and legal risks. The analysis of these risks will help the company understand what to prioritize during the innovation process.

4. Define Team Composition and Roles

Assess the skills and capabilities of the team members to ensure they are well-suited to bring the innovation plan to life. It is also important to define roles and responsibilities. A structured team with clear responsibilities will result in a better engagement and communication across the organization.

5. Establish an Action Plan

It’s time to set out the action plan to bring the innovation to life. Define milestones, assign tasks, and set out deadlines as needed. Have regular meetings with the team in order to track progress and provide feedback.

Case Study 1 – Johnson & Johnson

One company that successfully implemented a strategic innovation plan was Johnson & Johnson. The company created an innovation team from its R&D, marketing, and supply chain departments to develop new products and services that leveraged the its vast existing resources. The team identified risks associated with the project, used customer feedback to hone the innovation, and created a detailed action plan to bring the project to fruition, resulting in a successful adoption of the new products and services.

Case Study 2 – Frito Lay

Another company that has successfully implemented an innovation plan is Frito-Lay. The company identified its core assets and mapped out a detailed step-by-step plan that defined the objectives, timelines, and team roles for their innovation projects. This blueprint provided a hands-on approach to ensure each innovation initiative was successful and brought value to the company’s customers.


Crafting a strategic innovation plan is an essential step for any business that wants to unlock its potential and unleash creativity. By taking the time to map out the desired outcomes, assess strengths and weaknesses, evaluate business risks, craft team roles and assign tasks, and create an action plan, businesses can ensure their innovation projects are successful. Leveraging the case studies provided in this article, businesses should be well-equipped with the tools to craft an effective innovation plan.

Image credit: Pexels

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Failing Fast Leads to More Failure

Most Companies Fail at Innovation Because...One scary statistic is that 70% of change initiatives fail. An overwhelming proportion of new product launches fail. Most new businesses fail.

The sad fact is that failure is all around us.

Is this why so many organizations talk about a fear of failure being one of their major innovation stumbling blocks?

And, so what mantra do many innovation and growth gurus expound as a solution?

“We need to fail fast.”

“We need to fail forward.”

“We need to fail smart.”

So, the solution most innovation consultancies put forward to organizations already coping with the wide ranging effects of failure, is to tell their employees that they need to fail more.

Say what?

If you can’t tell already, I really hate the whole fail fast mantra. Can we kill it yet?

You don’t want to fail fast, you want to learn fast.

And so, if you switch to learning fast instead, the efforts of your employees should then become laser focused on identifying what you need to learn with each iteration, or each experiment.

And your focus should also then become all about how well you are instrumenting for the learning you are trying to achieve.

This is more consistent with failing forward, but WE ARE NOT FOCUSED ON FAILURE.

Focusing on failure, leads to failure. Failure becomes the expected outcome.

Instead, we are focused on learning fast, and we can learn equally well from success as we can from failure – if our learning instrumentation is good.

The way that you achieve success in change AND in innovation, is by working hard to move the potential causes of failure farther forward in the innovation or change project lifecycle so that you have an opportunity to either design the flaws or obstacles out, or communicate them out by forcing the tough conversations during your planning process (for change or innovation) — this comes before you even begin executing your plan.

You’ve got to surface the sources of resistance, the faulty assumptions, and the barriers to be overcome — early.

Then we build a plan focused not on quick wins, but on maintaining transparency and momentum throughout the change implementation.

You may have noticed that I use the terms innovation and change almost interchangeably (often in the same sentence). This is because innovation is all about change, and because many of the barriers to change inside organizations are the same barriers that innovators face.

As an answer to these challenges, I created the Change Planning Toolkit™ to help organizations beat the 70% change failure rate by providing a suite of tools that allow change leaders to make a more visual, collaborative approach to change efforts. At the center of the approach sits the Change Planning Canvas™, very visual, very collaborative ala Lean Startup to help you prototype and evolve your change approach before you ever begin. The toolkit comes with a QuickStart Guide and my latest book Charting Change was designed to ground people in the philosophies that will help them succeed with both little C change efforts (projects) and big C change efforts (digital transformations, mergers, acquisitions, INNOVATION, etc.).

So, stop bringing more failure into your organization, and instead bring the tools into your organization that will help you achieve more success!


The Experiment Canvas

To help everyone accelerate their learning and to achieve better success in their human-centered innovation efforts, I will be creating and licensing a Human-Centered Innovation Toolkit™ to innovation consultants and practitioners around the world. I have been sharing early elements with my clients and I’m proud to be able to give you all a valuable taste of the kinds of tools that will be in this toolkit when it launches later this year by providing advance access to the first free download – The Experiment Canvas™. Designed to be used iteratively, and to quickly capture in a visual, collaborative way (in similar fashion the Change Planning Toolkit™).

Download The Experiment Canvas™ as a 35″x56″ scalable FREE PDF poster download

If you’re not clear on what the Change Planning Toolkit™ can do for you, please join me Thursday, June 8th at 9am PDT on Twitter for an Ask Me Anything (aka #AMA) session on the Change Planning Toolkit™ using the hashtag #cptoolkit and well, ask me anything!

A future #AMA on the Human-Centered Innovation Toolkit™ is coming soon too!

Innovation Audit from Braden Kelley

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