What Price Innovation?

What Would You Pay To Unearth A Billion Dollar Innovation?

What would you be willing to spend to unearth a billion-dollar idea from your organization? A hundred thousand? A million? Nothing?

Why are you looking at revenues at all?

Unless you have a true Silicon Valley mindset, that question is wrong in so many ways. I’ve posted before on how many executives feel that an idea is not innovative unless it makes a billion dollars (everyone loves a unicorn), so anything less than that is not worth working on.

Firstly, if Silicon Valley startups have taught us anything it’s that the driver of your innovation efforts shouldn’t be cash (although increasingly this is what people think success should be in Silicon Valley), but a product or service which massively improves people’s lives. The billion, or multi-billion, or even million-dollar payoff is a side effect – change people’s lives for the better – and the money will follow.

So, how much would you pay to unearth a billion-dollar innovation, lurking somewhere deep in your organization? You know it’s out there, somewhere among your own employees, just waiting for the right spark to let it loose. The billion dollars itself seems like a great incentive to me, but in addition to that, you can generate multiple billion-dollar businesses, multiple million-dollar businesses, and process improvements which can save millions to billions of dollars, what would you pay for it now? But that’s not all.

What would you pay to drive massive employee engagement? To take your current workforce and turn it into a powerful machine driving towards your success, at every level of the organization. What would it be worth to you if you instantly received great ideas to increase your revenues or cut costs from any and every level of your organization, anywhere in your organization, at any time of the day or night?

Imagine your field personnel, noticing or realizing a cost-saving measure somewhere in the field, communicating it across the organization, allowing others to view, review, comment and improve upon the idea, then eventually rolling it out across your organization, greatly reducing costs. How much would you pay for that?

How much would you pay to instantly capture and can review any ideas from far-flung corners of your organization, many of which may never get a hearing in your C-suite? What if the billion-dollar idea was buried there, and it would just come to you – the moment your employee thought of it.

What would you pay to generate hundreds of patentable ideas, creating a veritable fortress of intellectual property around your business, any future business, and any other areas you may wish to get into? If you are planning to develop or expand your current portfolio of IP, would you prefer to hire external inventors to develop it, or leverage your internal workforce?

The question is, of course, not what you would pay, but what wouldn’t you pay. Every second that you are not running, or running an ineffective innovation program within your organization is another second lost, another opportunity lost, and possibly, another billion-dollar idea lost.

Are you willing to take that chance?