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Innovation Mandate: What is it and Why it Matters.




What's an "innovation mandate?" Simply put, it's a guideline used to determine if it makes sense to have an innovation focus in your business.


Without an innovation mandate, businesses risk sailing into uncharted waters, susceptible to scattered efforts, resource loss, and missed opportunities.



We've compiled 3 reasons why a mandate matters, and what you can do right now:



1. A Mandate sets a Mindful Direction:


A mandate provides a north star, aligning your business vision and strategy for the near or distant future. It's the compass that ensures inventive efforts resonate with the broader vision, steering away from unnecessary, misaligned, or unmanaged innovation efforts.  



Go: To start or enhance your efforts, evaluate your “why with innovation” and communicate this vision through policies, frameworks, and strategies that guide mindful and aligned execution.



Yield: If you are driving innovation but don't know specifically why or what impact it’s having on your business, we recommend that you reevaluate your focus and needs before committing large resources and effort.


 

2. A Mandate enables Goal-Driven Innovation:


Without clear alignment between your innovation vision and business goals and objectives, businesses risk wandering in the innovation wilderness. Your mandate sets the course, enabling clear and unified target setting by business owners, leaders, and other stakeholders.


Go: To get started or enhance your efforts we recommend that you set clear attainable targets and create metrics and scorecards to evaluate effectiveness. It is also important to understand that your business may not see the return on these investments for a few months to many years. You will need to be patient and manage these efforts without suffocating them.


Yield: If you do not have the appetite to see these innovation experiments and efforts through, it may make sense to wait until you are ready - just know that a lack of action could also have a negative impact on your business whether it be lost market share, talent, or other things that are important to your business growth.



3. A Mandate guides Resource Optimization:


The absence of an innovation mandate may result in haphazard resource allocation and wasted capital and effort.


Go: Ensure unobstructed support for innovation teams by establishing transparent business guidelines, policies, executive sponsorship and support, consistent resourcing (personnel, funding, etc.) for impactful innovation.


Yield: If you do not have the appetite for long-term investment (capital, personnel, etc.), consider reducing your innovation goals. Not all innovation experiments or efforts will bear fruit - some will fail, others may succeed. If you cannot afford big innovation, consider smaller projects that can be managed through your operations team.



 

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