3 Things Companies Can Do To Align Innovation With Strategy

Despite the many books, articles, panels and experts, strategy remains elusive.Nine months invested in writing strategy leaving three months to work on it before beginning the process again.Awash in numbers, metrics, proscribed projects and idealistic visions is there any question why 62% of leaders say their greatest need is better alignment of their innovation system with strategy?

innovation strategy & alignment

Strategy is leadershipÕs prediction of what is Most Important for the organization, or department, to focus its limited time and energy on.As a prediction, there is much uncertainty so flexibility is required.By focusing on what is Most Important, leadershipÕs prediction will also result in stopping some activities.How can these predictions be better communicated throughout an organization to improved alignment between innovation and strategy?

How can these predictions be better communicated throughout an organization to improved alignment between innovation and strategy?

  1. Tell what is neededÉopportunities to grow current or new customers or new systems for how to work together?  Leap Innovations or Core Improvements?  Long term or short term projects?  What is very important to the future?
  2. Provide a narrative of why this is important.   Tell the narrative in easily understood language, leave the "strategy-speak" on the shelf.  A narrative so clear that if employees get no further direction they will be motivated to work on this very important need and will know exactly what the leadership's strategic and tactical intent is.
  3. Describe the boundaries, what strategic exclusions and tactical constraints does the team need to know about?  What kinds of ideas is leadership not interested in?  Tactical constraints include such things as design, time, resources, investment, regulations, people and other constraints facing the organization.