|Investigate: analyze the project.
What resources will this require?
Who all will be required to work on this?
Which departments will be involved directly/indirectly on this?
Will this be good for the organization? How?
When would be a good time to actually launch this?
What technology will this require?
What is the best way to procure that technology if the organization does not already have it?
Who will do the job of determining the target market?
What factors will make this a success?
How to encourage those factors to enable this process?
What are the various stages which would require participation from top management?
Which value-chain components need to be engaged in this process?
How would a buy-in be created for the various parties?
Does this project dilute the organization’s focus or builds on it? (Here focus does not mean a narrowly defined core competency, but the very spirit of the organization.)
LEARN EVERYTHING ABOUT THE PROJECT!Incubate
The idea for the innovation, itself, needs to be incubated. What needs to be done for incubation involves you to: JUST THINK! Not only the people directly concerned with the outcome of the innovation process, but everyone within the organization and the value-chain elements who need to be involved, should be involved in the thinking process as well. To gain more insight about how the process will impact all possible facets of the organization. Insight about what exactly is being talked about.
What will change and how?
What will the repercussions be (good or bad)?
What could the possible alternatives be?
Are there any negatives to this project? (there definitely will be some)
How to counter those negatives?
What are positives? How to build further on those positives?
And please, when you do think of something that’s relevant (in fact, even if you feel it is irrelevant), please WRITE IT DOWN.
All these elements can give a fair picture of how your organization should brainstorm. This was just an example of how if you illuminate yourself with the fundamentals of your organization, you will know who to turn to when you want a solution. This was the brainstorming solution, you could do much more with illumination. Illuminate yourself with the organization like it is a living person. What are its likes and dislikes, what makes it happy, what makes it sad?
When the parameters for the project have been defined in the previous three steps, all that has been learnt should be shared with everyone in the organization and hopefully the value-chain too. It not only lays the ground for easing the process for another innovation, it also encourages people to innovate more often, since they know their idea will not go unnoticed.