- Posted by Gerhard Pramhas
- On 8. August 2019
How can you turn an idea into an innovation and then into money? Does a radical innovation automatically harbour the potential for success? In my previous projects, I have always been guided by the following quote:
“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (From The Wisdom of the Sands)
Successfully. I also use a quote from a piece by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry on my website. That’s no coincidence. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry was also a pilot “on the side” and thus very much at home in a world that has many points of contact with the concept of innovation.
Preparing for radical innovation
Picture the following scenario: You’re planning to develop a new technology. This new technology will be implemented in the form of a special-purpose machine. You have everything you need: basic research, technological security, money, market studies, subsidies, engineers, suppliers. Even your own production is up and ready. Have you done all the preliminary work necessary to ensure success?
No, you haven’t. You may have failed to rigorously instil the message of the opening quote in the very people who will be realising this project. You won’t earn any money with your innovation that way. But let’s not talk about how not to do it. Let’s talk about how it’s done.
Implementing radical innovation
Step 1: Make sure that the people who work for you really want to get to the finish line. When you get down to brass tacks, that’s usually more difficult than it sounds. Forget about team building. What you need are very clear, simple parameters. You have to communicate these requirements and constraints in a transparent and understandable way and insist on the agreement of your employees. There’s just no getting around that.
Step 2: In addition to that, you need to ensure simple and clear communication within the team. Don’t discuss each and every detail in never-ending meetings, but instead, prepare framework conditions that your employees can use for work, not for discussion.
Step 3: Sketch a motorway and let the employees drive on this motorway. All you have to do is determine the direction of the compass. And once you’ve found people who yearn for the vast, endless sea, your innovation will take off and you’re guaranteed to make money with it. A lot of money.
As Interim Chief Innovation Officer, I provide support in recruiting your employees in the spirit of Saint-Exupéry.
Would you like to benefit from my experience and knowledge as Interim Chief Innovation Officer? If you want to talk about how you can directly and indirectly convert your innovation into cash – ideally before launching the project – then contact me. Let’s start by discussing your possibilities online.