Innovation; the recipe

Posted on July 07, 2016

Here is Tom's recipe for Innovation following the launch of our GiFt loaf

 Innovation - The Recipe

Since Christmas, I’ve been beavering away bringing the idea of a gluten free loaf into a product that won an award as Britain’s Best Gluten Free Loaf in its first week, made two coeliacs cry for joy and exceeded our initial sales targets five-fold. When it comes to innovation, these ingredients are crucial to me.

My innovations recipe.

First in the mix…

Is there a need for this innovation? Without successfully answering this to even the most sceptical people around you, you’ll likely trip up or run out of determination later when you need it. Answer the why first, and get innovation off to a solid start. Your answered why is a compass that will guide you as you make choices.

Is this a HellaYeh! idea? 
Don’t give your precious mojo juice to meh things. There’re good ideas and opportunities aplenty. But when life and work are super busy, you owe it to yourself to discern, is this innovation a 9 out of 10 idea, is this a hella yeh idea? One way to check is to ask yourself, is there actually an appetite for this internally [with the people you work with or will work with] and is there an appetite externally [in the market place or with your customers]? Are you and your potential customers/users hungry for this?

Copy the Circus.
When the circus comes to town, everyone in the circus pulls a rope to erect the big top. To set up something wonderful and new you need a good team and everyone from the strong lady to the bearded man needs to know which rope they are holding, and be good at pulling it. Innovation isn’t a solo effort, it’s a team effort and without INVOLVEMENT…. you can’t have IMPLEMENTATION…

Cast your net far and wide. 
Look everywhere and soak up all that you can. Research online, study blogs, test recipes (where appropriate obv’s), find out who’re the experts, then meet them and coax out their hard learnt gems n pearls of wisdom. Be open, and prepare to change and adapt your vision and expectations.

Paint a big picture.
Where’s the high tide mark? Who’s doing it well? What does the opportunity look and taste like?
Say what it is going to become, garner fans and foster a healthy engagement, listen for a YES from your emerging fans that can steer your project, feed the intrigue and build a story.
Make sure someone near you or in your team can ask the difficult questions and bring a healthy scepticism that stretches the picture and the innovation, holds the process of innovation and you and your team to account, and makes sure you don’t fail.

Start from scratch. 
Master every element of your sphere of innovation. Taste it, poke it, break it, own it. There’ll be plug-in easy solutions that everyone else uses, but be warned, they can keep you limited to only as good as anyone else.
When you know it, you can own it, then you can delegate or outsource bits of it successfully. When you’ve put in this extra mile of leg work, you’ll have an authenticity that people can trust and authority that is valuable.

Mix it all together. 
Your going to need GRIT - work, iterate, trial, zone-in, find FLOW, shut out the nay-sayers, work harder.

Good to GREAT.

Now you know what good looks like………. time to make this GREAT!
Make it bigger in impact and scope. Make this your greatest work to date.
Make it a GiFt that everyone wants to share. There must be a story that’s bigger than you and your innovation, a big WHY that’s been answered.
Now tell the story again and again and again. Let people that have become fans share the story, make it easy for them.

Launch the Rocket whilst planning the next launch
When a rocket is being built, inevitably whilst developing the last few components, a newer, lighter more powerful and stronger element will be discovered that makes the rocket even better. This could be worked through the already signed off components to make the rocket better. With this approach the rocket’ll never get launched, so far better to incorporate the benefit into V2. Same goes for bread or anything. So plan on replacing your product, don’t let your competition do it. Never stop improving.

So the recipe again. And this time hold it up to your innovation.

Can you answer WHY?
Seriously Is this a HellaYeh! idea? 
Copy the circus. Build a great team. Without involvement you can’t have implementation.
Cast your net far and wide. Be open.
Paint a big picture.
Find fans, listen for the yes and ask the tough questions.
Start from scratch. 
Own it, and earn authenticity and authority.
Mix it all together. Lean in, find grit, work hard
Good to GREAT. Make it your best ever and a story worth sharing.
Launch the Rocket whilst planning the next launch or someone else will.