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By Dennis McCafferty

The 5 Steps for Successful Innovation

Step 1: Touch All BasesGain top-level, executive leadership commitment to support risk-taking on the part of staff.

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Step 1: Touch All BasesDesign an "Innovation Portfolio" that establishes measurable outcomes of innovation, as defined by:• improving cost efficiencies• enhancing operations • transforming business process/performance.

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Step 2: Engage Issues that MatterFind issues that are unique to your domain and pursue new techniques to address them in lasting, meaningful ways.

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Step 2: Engage Issues that MatterMatch core strengths to disruptive trends to invent something new and valuable.

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Step 3: Determine Innovation Value and FeasibilityProjected ROI must present tangible value to your organization, with a feasibility presentation that clearly depicts this outcome as being within reach.

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Step 3: Determine Innovation Value and FeasibilityValue outcomes can involve projected productivity, equity and legitimacy, as made feasible by delivery capability, production, extended-value chain and infrastructure.

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Step 4: Know Where You Are GoingDesign the initiative and articulate all necessary steps to all individuals involved, with clearly defined roles.

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Step 4: Know Where You Are GoingCreate a roadmap that pinpoints which success results must be achieved along the way, and when. Have corrective action plans on hand if they're not.

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Step 5: Make Timely DeliveryTimely delivery is affected by factors such as the shifting dynamics of the issue at hand, as well as alignment with other relevant issues for your organization.

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Step 5: Make Timely DeliveryYour perspective on timeliness may differ from that of key decision-makers, your customers, or other intermediaries. Ensure that all stakeholders are on board with a mutually accepted schedule.

This article was originally published on 06-14-2011