Recap: Five questions with Rowan Gibson

All last week, innovation expert and author Rowan Gibson answered our questions and offered his insight into large-scale collaboration, innovation sponsorship, and the necessary roles that have to take place before successful, positive change can occur in a business. You may access his posts in the links below, and be sure to bookmark this page.

Rowan Gibson

With sponsorship being so crucial, what are the best ways to enhance or shore up proper Innovation sponsorship?

In his first post, Rowan examines the relationship between identifying new ideas at an organization and properly securing resources to turn those ideas into new, successful business initiatives.

Many Innovation efforts die because of a “lack of time” by individuals and managers.  How have you solved this vexing “silent” killer?

Giving employees the freedom to think and be creative is a necessary component of fostering the next Big Idea, Rowan says, but a company has to be willing to allot that discretionary time for people to work on their own projects.

Why is innovation ROI hard to measure, and how may it be done better?

Asking “What’s the expected ROI?” or “How profitable is this opportunity?” can often end up killing great ideas prematurely. Instead, consider this approach: ask first about the size of the idea, then about the feasibility, and only then about the profitability.

What is the best way to organize/prepare for breakthrough innovation efforts, as it seems to require a distinct approach?

Most companies require new and distinct business structures if they are to properly leverage breakthrough innovation opportunities, Rowan says.

What are your top three “must do’s” for breakthrough innovation success?

They involve capturing ideas, properly nurturing them, and deciding the pace and scale appropriate to investing in these ideas. Companies will need to do all three — and do them well — to win in today’s highly competitive innovation economy.