KNOWLEDGE

    Innovation Management System Framework FAQs

    What does this innovation management system framework add to the world?
    This framework is the first truly international innovation management system. It is not national, regional, but really international. It is a highly structured, comprehensive and thorough way to pragmatically organize all innovation activities in any organization. It can apply to businesses, but also non-profit organizations, as public services, schools, churches, sports organizations. Many organizations have some structure and process built around innovation, but never as thorough and comprehensive as this. We have the passion to help others become more innovative. What we want to achieve is organizations aiming for the sweet spot, always. Few, if any organizations, will make it. Few people will, too. Since this is such an unattainable goal, we should set it. But we will allow for a few aberrations.

    Why would organizations implement this at all?
    In today’s economy, efficiency and effectiveness is important. Commoditization is increasing rapidly, and so is the speed of market and technology change, and therefore innovation becomes more important. At the same time organizations have to do this with the same people and probably at lower cost levels. Organizations would implement the framework to increase their innovation effectiveness and efficiency, generating more and better output at the same or lower cost in times of shortage.

    If we compare this to ISO 900x: does this framework also put an extra burden on organizations?
    ISO quality standards have been implemented in many organizations to safeguard quality, which is a way to measure operational excellence. This framework organizes innovation excellence, which is something completely different. It is an advisory and scalable framework, which means that the result is not to document ‘for the record’, but just capture what the organization wants to and should document. The end result of assessments is not acquiring an innovation certificate, but to record progress on a scale of innovation capabilities over time.

    Is standardizing and benchmarking not a thing of the past in a complex world without central controls?
    Actually, it is quite the opposite. The need for standardization is increasing if partnering (with Open Innovation) becomes the norm rather than the exception. Now that more and more organizations have more complex interactions with their environments (e.g. through open innovation programs), and new innovations can come from organizations of any size or shape, standardizing on terminology, tools and processes and benchmarking become more important rather than less. Standardization reduces clutter and noise in communications between organizations and helps improve partnering.

    Who actually benefits from implementing the framework?
    This framework does three things:

    1. It helps consultants to assess organizations on innovation capability
    2. It helps professionals to assess their organization’s innovation strengths
    3. It helps professionals to increase their level of proficiency in innovation in a structured way, to further their careers. 

    I think frameworks are the way of innovation. Why should I adopt this at all?
    We have some observations that may help you see this in a different perspective:

    1. This framework documentation set will provide guidance on how to quickly but thoroughly make progress on implementing your own innovation management system.
    2. The framework is advisory rather than prescriptive: people are in charge to determine what they want to do, how deep and wide they implement it. Every organization should implement its own version (if you start using other people's processes, you are on the wrong track).
    3. The framework is a path towards improvement rather than a one-off evaluation, meaning you want to monitor progress over time, and using the framework get advice on how to improve performance, not draw simple conclusions.

    Frameworks will inhibit our creativity, serendipity, or entrepreneurship. Why do we need frameworks?
    Sure. There are certain aspects of innovation that cannot be managed by exerting traditional forms of planning-and-control management, such as creativity, serendipity or entrepreneurship. It would be pretentious to say that you could. However, there are two important points to realize:

    1. The fact that some elements cannot be entirely planned or controlled does not release professionals from responsibilities for managing the elements where you actually can.
    2. If creativity, serendipity or entrepreneurship cannot be managed, they can at least be  facilitated, so that people can perform at their best in circumstances that are advantageous to innovation. You can manage the processes around facilitation meaning you create proper conditions under which they can flourish, and write it down in a framework like we do here.

    What concrete innovation management problem do you address?
    Through our project (funded by a foundation), a very fundamental question has been raised (and addressed), that rarely innovation is repeatable, and stable. Innovation typically has a one-off character in that companies, and individual products, may be successful, but rarely repeatable and stable over time. Using our innovation management system framework, organizations can significantly improve their innovation management capability. This will help them increase revenues, lower costs, and get more out of their current pipeline.The framwork is universally applicable to all kinds of organizations, including the finance sector.

    What is the status of the framework, and its scale?
    We (the TIM Foundation) have just completed the first international innovation management system framework. It has been rolled out, and it will likely be adopted globally by a large innovation association shortly.

    What are the expected effects of standardization on your firm?
    The expected effects are such, that by adopting this framework’s way of working, organizations may get significantly better at innovation management, and may improve their innovation performance as a result: meaning innovate better, cheaper, faster and with more lasting effect.

    What insights can be derived from your innovation management system framework? What are the lessons learned? And to what extent, are these insights relevant?
    What we have learned in the meantime, is that instating an innovation management system framework is a steep learning curve for most organizations, one that is rarely understood in one cycle. Organizations are largely not ready to adopt such systems, at the same time, the majority of them will need to learn and adapt sooner rather than later. Also, that an innovation management system framework is a very rewarding and productive way to let an organization learn to improve its own innovation capability. It is a path to follow, not a point to reach. Moreover, that once organizations do understand the needs they have, their performance increases significantly.

    More information? Check out www.timfoundation.org.


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