Nobody Buys Innovation from a Clown

by Gijs van Wulfen

Nobody Buys Innovation from a ClownWhen you need to innovate, most organizations form a team of their best creative people to ideate new concepts. Presenting their top ideas they try to do it in a creative way of course. I saw innovators:

  • make a movie,
  • do a dance,
  • make a painting,
  • write one huge post-it,
  • make a newspaper, and
  • even do a flash mob.

Of course you are expected to break patterns. And originality helps. But when you present your idea it is wise to keep in mind that the rest of the organization is still as conservative as ever. Your senior management might praise you for your creativity. But, will they buy the idea and give you the resources to develop it after seeing a flash mob? I have my doubts. Don’t bring them ideas, bring them business and growth potential!

In the boardroom your idea will be evaluated from at least three perspectives:

  1. The Customer: will they like it?
  2. The Business model: will it be profitable for us?
  3. The Technology: can we produce it?

That’s why I am a big fan of a conservative way to present your innovative idea: the mini new business case. This is a clear, strategic, commercial, professional and financial plan for new initiatives. At this early stage of the innovation process it is more of a ‘preview’ of the full business case. Of course an original way of presenting your idea gets you attention. And by making a mini new business case you strengthen the persuasiveness of your proposals.

Remember: “nobody buys innovation from a clown.”

image credit: vegaoo.com

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Gijs van WulfenGijs van Wulfen leads ideation processes and is the founder of the FORTH innovation method. He is the author of Creating Innovative Products & Services, published by Gower.

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