Breakdowns in Innovation: The 2 I’s vs. the 5 D’s


Breakdowns in Innovation: The 2 I’s vs. the 5 D’s

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Many business owners and leaders envision an opportunity and go right after it. It’s that seemingly perfect 2 I’s cycle which moves straight from Idea to Implementation. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. Better yet, do not perform any due diligence, and by all means whatever you do, do not chart the course for reaching your final destination!

Unfortunately, not all ideas prove to be such great ideas when leaders move forward with their implementation efforts. More than that, many leaders get so tunnel-vision focused on the end result they’ve envisioned that they often miss many of the warning signs that may present themselves along the way.

The 2 I’s of Innovation may be sufficient at times. More often than not though, they will actually lead you down a very dangerous path. That’s why we created – and offer you – a more complete framework for innovation based on the 5 D’s: Discussion, Decision, Design, Delivery, and Destination.

  1. Discussion: The first critical step in any innovation process is Discussion. What are our priorities? What are we trying to accomplish together? This initial discussion then provides the framework for determining the best path forward.
  2. Decision: Only from this initial discussion is it possible to make a Decision as to which solution will truly meet your needs. Several different selection criteria, like Cost to Implement or Expected Consumer Benefit, can aid in determining this important decision.
  3. Design: Once you have determined which solution seems to be the best fit, it is crucial to Design the complete solution. Picking A over B is a step in the right direction. Knowing that you’re going to draw a small a with an asterisk over it in bold print (like this a*, not this A) is a more complete picture though.
  4. Delivery: In this more complete process for driving innovation, Delivery comes fourth. With the 2 I’s, it is the second and final stage in the process. Not such a great approach when you’re implementing anything more complicated than having lunch because you’re hungry! Delivering your solution likely requires careful resource planning and diligent effort from the many people, including various key stakeholders, who are impacted by and/or simply involved in implementing the solution.
  5. Destination: And finally, a well-executed innovation process will enable you to reach your final Destination. Notice that the idea itself is just the beginning of the journey. It is not your desired destination!

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