Monday, July 27, 2015

Ask the Innovation Expert: Ted Frank

The back end of innovation is the make or break point for ideas in the innovation process. It’s where great ideas will either flourish or die. This is your reality check. What you take to market and how you execute on innovation determines your ROI and growth.

This year, The Back End of Innovation Conference unites cross-industry leaders sharing challenges, lessons learned and best practices on commercializing new ideas and profitably executing your go to market innovation strategy. Move beyond incremental product and service improvements and discover the lessons of ground breaking innovation – meaningful disruption across categories, value chains and markets.

That’s why we recently sat down with BEI 2015 speaker and Story Strategist at Backstories Studio Ted Frank.  He talked to us about best practices to support successful innovation execution and the challenges that come along with it.

Here’s what Frank had to say:

“The two biggest roadblocks I see with innovation teams are lack of confidence when they present to executives and not documenting their process. Because innovation and design become very personal, it can feel like going before a judge, and they forget that they are there as contributors to the company’s strategy, and therefore, as valuable as anyone.”

Frank also shared some best practices for innovation teams when it comes to crafting the story of a project:

“Get the objectives for the project written so you can reference them later. That helps them use the words that management uses, a technique that will help them resonate with the executive at their presentation.”

“Document the process by shooting video of the innovators in action: as you research, as you brainstorm, as you sketch, as you create. These will later make the innovators look heroic.”

“Get an outside person or team to craft the narrative. The team is usually way too close to it and, therefore, keeping it simple becomes very difficult.”

“Always, always, always, present visually, and if you can, experientially. If you can get the execs to feel the problem from the customer’s point of view and the journey as you explain it, they’ll be so much more present and ideas will make so much more sense.”


Want to hear more from Frank? Attend BEI 2015 in San Jose, CA this fall. To learn more about the event or to register, click here: http://bit.ly/1ICwiu1

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