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Jul
10
Rick Boersma

Juice Inc - Innovation training in manufacturing

A Manufacturing Leadership Council (MLC) survey on innovation recently caught my attention.

Most manufacturers clearly understand how critical innovation is to business growth. But it seems many are approaching innovation in an extremely informal way.

Consider this:

  • Only 17% say their companies have an innovation process in place with clearly defined roles, responsibilities, and deliverables for stakeholders
  • 79% say their companies do not provide a specific amount of time for people to devote to innovation activities

Perhaps the above numbers explain why only 28% of companies gave a high rating to their ability to convert a new idea to a product or service.

MLC’s global VP of research and editorial director David Brousell sums up the survey’s findings by stating: “...one can’t help wonder whether the application of greater management rigor to the process could accelerate and expand innovation in many companies.”

I whole-heartedly agree.

By approaching innovation willy-nilly, ideas often go nowhere. And here’s why: innovation isn’t just about idea generation. It involves multiple steps that include the assessment of ideas, creating a business case for the chosen solution, and implementation. (A structured innovation program—including training, tools and techniques—can facilitate all of these activities.)

In a nutshell, in an industry where continuous evolution is expected, it makes perfect business sense for manufacturing companies to take a more formalized approach to innovation.

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