Three keys to successful innovation

So you’ve got a great idea, and you’ve come up with a proposal that will meet the needs of the people you want to use it. Your work here is done… isn’t it?

Well, no – not until you have your invention turned into an adopted practice – that’s the real work of innovation. Your proposed change requires a community of people who do things in a particular way to change how they work together – there’s a process to this.

Consider, trial, sustain

There are 3 distinct phases in the adoption process that need to happen in order to get your result :

1. Obtain commitment from your community (or its leaders) to consider the change you propose.Three keys to successful innovation delivery

2. Obtain commitment from your community to trial the new process for the first time.

3. Obtain commitment from your community to sustain the new practice for its useful life.

This is where many innovations can fall over. You present your innovation and they say “It looks great” – and you think that means they’re going to do it. But what they mean is something else – anything from “no way” to “if I had any time I’d try (but I don’t)”. It’s not a yes till you see the change happening – repeatedly.

The process of adoption

You’ve just begin an extended sequence of conversations and negotiations towards the result you want. Your offer will evolve through the process of considering, trialling and sustaining. So the better you communicate, particularly in listening to your community, the better the results you’ll get.

Learn the anatomy of making offers, the art of conversations for commitment and possibility and the confidence to make a stand for the changes you want to see in the world. Build your communications effectiveness and your understanding of innovation and you can make a real contribution to your work and your life.

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About Leigh


Leigh is the principal of the business innovation practice Balance3 and her clients have included corporations such as Amcor, National Foods, Dair, SPC Ardmona, Kobelco, Corporate Express and New Balance as well as a range of smaller businesses and individual clients.