NOTE: This is a single chapter excerpted from the book Handbook of Organizational Creativity, made available for individual purchase. Additional chapters, as well as the entire book, may be purchased separately.
Organizations continue to place an ever-increasing premium on innovation—the successful implementation of novel and useful ideas. The reasons for the pursuit of innovation are seemingly quite justified. Simply put, businesses that can bring products to market before competitors stand to have a unique competitive advantage over those that lag in development. Moreover, organizations that continually seek new and novel ways to operate might also gain a competitive advantage over those businesses that continue to engage in outdated and inefficient practices. Planning is not a “set and forget” activity—leaders cannot develop a plan and put the innovation to function on autopilot. Planning, in general, requires constant monitoring. Planning for innovation requires even greater attention and flexibility. For those willing to invest time and energy, planning for innovation can provide leaders with a useful means to create movement toward an innovation strategy. The tendency to avoid the often risk-saturated opportunities characterizing innovation means some guidance is necessary to put organizations on a creative path. The development of innovation plans, even with their complexity and need for near constant attention, provide this “push” necessary for moving toward unknown territory.