An innovator is someone constantly in search of new methods and ideas. They’re trailblazers, risk-takers, and difference makers.
If you fancy yourself an “innovator” at your organization or are aiming to make a bigger difference in the new year, there are a few things you should consider before touting that title.
Every innovator knows themselves and their organization. They don’t just make assumptions and hope for the best. Accordingly, transparency is crucial for any organization that wants to empower its people to innovate and take action on their ideas, so your environment shouldn’t be overlooked.
That being said, here are eight insights an innovator must possess to really start making a difference within their organization.
Company’s Strategic Goals – At a high level, what is your organization trying to achieve right now and in the future?
Your Personal Goals – As both an employee and an individual, what are your short- and long-term goals?
Target Markets – Who is your company trying to attract as a customer?
Core Competencies – What does your company do best?
Unique Selling Propositions – What does your company do differently than others?
Marketplace Competitors – Who else is vying for your customers and what do they do differently or better?
Communication Channels – How does your company collaborate internally?
Needs and Projects – What is your company looking for in terms of improvements and new ideas?
But apart from information regarding your organization and self, you should have a deep understanding of the ideas that you’re considering too.
SWOT – Do you know your idea inside and out, from its Strengths and Weaknesses to its future Opportunities and Threats?
Potential Risks – Apart from weaknesses that can be improved, what problems or people could stand in the way of getting your idea implemented?
Likely Questions – What are people likely to ask when introduced to your ideas?
Implementation Time – How long will your idea take to bring to life, test, and scale?
Implementation Cost – How much will it cost to bring your idea to life, test, and scale?
Necessary Resources – What resources are available, and what else will be needed for your idea’s development life-cycle?
Key People – Who else are you depending on to make your ideas a success?
Making a difference in your organization shouldn’t be hard, and while some companies don’t value transparency and knowledge sharing as highly as they should, its always best to try to stay informed and ready to act.
The reason? Should an opportunity arise, even a great idea still needs to fit your organization, and requires coordination of resources and people to be put into action. Time is always of the essence.
If you’re interested in playing a larger role within your organization and developing your career, it pays to pay attention. So seek knowledge, create an idea management process, keep an eye out for improvements, think critically, and don’t be afraid to share your ideas. Anyone can come up with a new idea, but it takes a real innovator to bring a game-changing idea to life.