The Seven Stages of Innovation

Peter Andrews with the IBM Advanced Business Institute talks about the following reference points for most organizations interested in innovation in his article Roles for innovation – The right people at the right time:

1. Idea/Insight. This is what gets documented in a brainstorming session. It is the first expression of new possibilities, either as a combination or a complete novelty.

2. Research. Here, the idea is actualized. The idea is checked for precedence, put into context, tested and explored for application.

3. Development. The innovation must be directed toward a market, honed, made feasible and “owned” at an appropriate level.

4. Management/Strategy. Companies that have formal processes of innovation may go back to this stage repeatedly, but, essentially, it is here that innovations are judged, put into a business context, prioritized, validated supported and promoted.

5. Manufacturing/Distribution. Here, the innovation becomes a product or service and is made available outside the organization.

6. Sales/Marketing. The innovation must be reinterpreted for customers, made visible, explained and offered. In addition, Sales provides a venue for feedback and judgment.

7. Marketplace. The customer validates the innovation by buying and using the innovation.

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