We have written here extensively about how startups and early-stage businesses face an overwhelming number of tasks to get the ball rolling. The bad news is that those tasks do not go away once your company graduates to becoming a small or medium sized business (SMB).
In many ways, as the company grows, so do the risks. Employees and contractors are hired; products are updated; sales teams talk with customers; and new ideas are hatched all over your business. The difference is that now you no longer know about all this innovation!
The best defense is a good offense
A sports cliché that applies to business risk and innovation management – create a process and get out in front of issues. A strategy that includes early analysis of the risks and a plan to address the risks as you grow plus routine review will set you on the right path.
Three tips for successful innovation management:
Tip #1: Treat innovation like It Deserves
Simply put, you would not leave your valuable tangible assets out in the open for people to steal. Dealerships lock up their vehicles every night; stores close out the public from helping themselves to products; and offices lock up their furniture and hardware. Why should software or a secret recipe be any different?
Regular inventory or counting is critical to manage the tangible assets above. The same care needs to be taken with innovation, ideas, intangible assets, and software. Identify, protect, and continuously review all your assets, not just those you can lock up.
Tip #2: Give Credit Where Credit is Due
Companies who encourage and reward their employees for innovation tend to have more success. The reward does not necessarily have to be monetary and in some cases, simple recognition will encourage innovation. Take the time to survey your culture to create an incentive program that works to foster true innovation.
Tip #3: Empower Thru Education
Not all professional development or training needs to be dull. By following Tip #2 and rewarding employees for capturing and retaining innovation, you can come up with creative ways to educate others by showcasing successful projects.
Remember that not all innovation leads to products or services that are offered for sale. Alternatively improving an internal process can be innovative. Design an innovation and risk management education program that starts with your on-boarding process and is part of all company departments.
Calling All CFOs, In-house Counsel, Risk Managers, and Innovation Leaders
Traklight now offers software as service solution for enterprise risk management, freeing you up to run your business. Let us be your concierge to ensure that valuable innovation is captured and risks are minimized for capital raising and growth.
If you could benefit from help preparing for due diligence or are in need of an innovation program or review, please contact us or learn more here.