Innovation Phases

By Martin Gilliard

A warm welcome to the innovation phases page.

According to Kanter Harvard Business Review Jul-Aug 2004 Innovation goes through three phases:

  1. Project Definition
  2. Coalition Building
  3. Action

1. Project Definition

Prior to defining a project the problem needs to be identified.

This often involves collecting technical and political information in order to translate the ambiguous into a concrete project definition.

Having lots of facts and information enables you to better handle the critics when presenting the project definition.


(Photo Credit: Noyes)

2. Building A Coalition

Next resources and support need to be acquired to make the project work.

Doing this phase prior to extensive project activity enables you to ensure that you have enough supporters to keep the kind of momentum going that is required for a successful implementation.

Comments, criticisms and objectives from supporters help shape the project into one that is more likely to succeed.

3. Moving into Action

This involves mobilizing the key players into action. The people need to be brought together into a team with a common purpose. The team should be briefed and then assignments should be given out.

The team should also be consulted for their ideas and suggestions in order to further refine the project.

The team should be sold rather than told.

Full commitment is required in order for the project to succeed. The manager must handle quickly and effectively any interference or opposition that may jeopardize the project.

A manager must also maintain momentum and continuity of the project. Delivering on promises is key, deadlines must be met, supporters should be supplied with information and benefits should be delivered early.

Innovative accomplishments represent a new way to use or expand resources and include affecting a new policy, finding new opportunities, devising fresh methods or designing new structures. 

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