The key elements of an Innovation Management System

What are the key elements of an Innovation Management System?

The success factors to innovate effectively are structured in seven key areas: context, leadership, planning, support, operations, evaluation, and improvement. Recommendations to companies and organizations are provided in each area.

The systems approach to innovation management recognizes that there are several interrelated and interacting elements or factors in an organization that must be in place to ensure innovation success. The structure of the guiding standard for Innovation Management System (the forthcoming ISO 50501) covers seven key elements, one for each heading in the document. These headings are the same for all management system standards

What are the key elements of an Innovation Management System?

  • Context: The organization should track external trends and other relevant factors e.g. user preferences and technology developments, in order to identify both opportunities and challenges that can trigger innovation activities.

  • Leadership: Based on the understanding of the context, top management should demonstrate leadership and commitment by establishing an overall direction for innovation, including the necessary resources, structures, and responsibilities and by fostering a culture supporting innovation activities.

  • Planning: Innovation objectives and strategies should be developed at relevant parts of the organization based on the direction set by top management and the identified opportunities and risks.

  • Support: The support necessary to execute the innovation strategies should be put in place, e.g. people with the right competences, financial and other resources, tools and methods, communication and awareness creating activities as well as approaches for external collaboration and the protection of intellectual property.

  • Operations: Innovation activities are initiated in line with the strategies using the established support and the appropriate processes depending on the types of innovation to be achieved. Innovation initiatives can form one or more portfolios to facilitate management, measurement, and follow-up.

  • Evaluation: The performance of the Innovation Management System as a whole should regularly be evaluated to identify strengths and weaknesses.

  • Improvement: Based on the evaluation, the system should be improved by addressing the most critical gaps with regards to the understanding of the context, leadership, planning, support, and operations.

The guiding framework is applicable for all types of organizations, regardless of type, sector, or size. An organization can select the most relevant parts of the system to be implemented depending on its specific situation.

Special Guest: Magnus Karlsson. Source: Innovation Management Systems.

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