This morning I was speaking to the Innovation Engineering Fundamentals class at the Eureka! Ranch. I explained that if you can't describe your system with words then it wasn't a system. I went on to explain that in 40 years of innovation work I'm yet to find a company that has a system for creating, communicating, or developing ideas. They have Stage Gate standards - but these don't define WHAT, WHY, and HOW to innovate.
I turned to my right and asked an engineer at a mega company what their innovation system was "Puff the Magic Dragon" he stated. It was hilarious and also sad.
It's sad because workers are given orders to innovate - innovate - innovate. However they are provided no method for doing It other than "magic" Their organization doesn't have a system for creating ideas let alone a system for making them happen. And yes by system I mean a documented system of operations just as they have in production, finance, and even HR.
THIS IS NOT RIGHT.
NOTE: this is not a theoretical rant. Our Eureka! Ranch team have created full documentation for every aspect of Innovation Engineering. Employees know what to do, why to do it, and how. AND most important of all it's continuously improved :)