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Paul Williams (who is a contributor to the new Corante Innovation Hub), in his post on the process of innovation, make a couple of good points. The first is:

The short definition I like to use for innovation is:

putting ideas to action… and that action making a difference.

This gels with the idea that my new role  is about generating business value, not just tinkering with toys.

Following from that, he lists some practical tasks (go read them!), most of which I agree with. The last (and for me slightly problematic) is “Implement” – not that I have a problem with implementation, because that IS the point of the exercise, but I am wondering whether someone who is charged with finding, identifying and evaluating great ideas is the best person to implement, and whether turning your innovator into a project/operational manager is a good idea.

Paul suggests that implementation is an action which turns the idea into something useful, but where do you hand over from proof of concept/pilot to an operational function? Do you become the (new) operational function? Or do you pass the baton, and go back to the next item in your pipeline of ideas?

 
[Bonus Link: How Do you Make Innovation Happen? from Paul Gladen, another Innovation Hub blogger.

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