Create a culture of Sustained, Continuous & Naturally Flowing Innovation

A Google search on “Driving an Innovation Culture in Organizations “received 1.1 Million results while the keywords “Importance of Innovation in Business” received over 36 Million results. This clearly shows why Innovation is amongst the most discussed topic in workplaces across the globe today. Innovation simply put is the process of transforming a traditional outcome to a form that delivers incremental value and positive benefits.

In a business or organizational context it is a way of thinking, doing and communicating differently with the quest of deriving continuous improvements. With the business environment getting more and more competitive with each passing year with increasing levels of intensity across geographies, the need for disruption is now pivotal to the probability of success for organizations. You can no more count on what got you here to necessarily get you there.

It is thus certainly no surprise why Innovation is a top 3 CEO priority today & Open Innovation Platforms are a critical component of an Organizations technology stack

Did You Know that
  • 57% of companies do not follow the formal process of innovation
  • Only 71% of companies measure innovation.
  • 84.9% of companies said innovation is very important.
Source: CB Insights study on the State of Corporate Innovation, 2018

The mere construct of how we have defined Innovation, makes it a cultural intervention rather than an operational procedure. Innovation is driven by the thoughts and action of your employees and making it a way of life requires the entire workforce to internalize the tenets of innovation and practice the desired actions repeatedly till they become a habit. Thus it is a journey that requires a destination, a clearly designed map and several ancillary resources to help you complete the journey.

Here are 3 simple ways to start your journey to making innovation a part of your organizational DNA by virtue of creating an Innovation Culture

  • Embed Innovation into your Value System, thereby making it a key characteristic of your company’s “True Citizen”
  • Define a clear framework for innovation: in terms of focus areas, process and nurturing to implementation
  • Pair Innovation with Empowerment, to enable every stakeholder to naturally contribute to continuous improvement. Assign the importance that it deserves
  • Align both individual and team goals to measurable innovation milestones that are clearly articulated in job description documents

At this junction, your organization is equipped to now take the journey to achieve sustained & continuous improvements at the workplace


Innovation is most commonly in today’s times wrongly confused with Ideation. We come across several organizations that have constituted frameworks to drive new ideas though forums where employees could share ideas with their colleagues as part of innovation programs. Ideas provide the spark, an important stage in the evolution of any innovative outcome, however it can’t be classified as innovation if the process stops here. Such programs end up becoming idea dump yards and after a while the frequency and quantity of ideas coming in start to fall sharply. Sparks need to be nurtured by the right experts who possess the right resources and only when they get infused into an implementable project can we say that innovation is getting driven. The process is finally complete when one can experience the tangibility of the change brought through the idea, in a form similar to a sparkling diamond. It is for this reason that we like referring to the journey of innovation as “From spark to sparkle”.

Spark 2 Sparkle © , S2S by PossibleWorks is an integrated web & mobile platform that enables organizations to drive an innovation culture through the entire journey from the initial idea (Spark) to the commissioned project (Sparkle). Enroute this journey, the platform allows the configuration of a variety of gamification rules that help in achievement of multiple interim milestones that are crucial to the final outcome.

This innovation framework thrives on the following 5 key principles of Corporate Innovation, which we call the Five I’s

  • Imbibe: Innovation must be embedded into an organizations culture and included into the value system for its employees to imbibe, absorb and make it a way of life.
  • Integrate: Innovation must also be integrated with the companies’ business strategy and proliferated across the workforce through structured KPI’s that encapsulate the essence of innovation.
  • Involve: Innovation is multi-directional in both its construct as well as the outcome. The development of innovation requires diverse elements to be crowd sourced from silos of expertise that exist in nooks and corners of every workforce.
  • Incentivize: Every nurturing process thrives on incremental self motivation at each juncture of its evolution. A framework to recognize the evolution at each stage through a well crafted incentive program continuously fuels the process of innovation.
  • Internalize: Innovation is complete only when ideas are implemented and the change is internalized. This requires a measurement model that benchmarks key metrics in alignment with the organizational vision and its resultant objectives.

S2S aligns its architecture & process with each stage of evolution that emerging sparks need to necessarily go through, to emerge as a sparkling outcome. These stages of evolution are

  • Ideation & Mobilization
  • Advocacy & Screening
  • Experimentation
  • Commercialization
  • Implementation

The Ideation stage is the starting line for new ideas. Successful idea generation should be fueled both by the pressure to compete and by the freedom to explore. Once a new idea is generated, it passes on to the mobilization stage, wherein the idea travels to a different physical or logical location. Since most inventors aren’t also marketers, a new idea often needs someone other than its originator to move it along. This stage is vitally important to the progression of a new idea, and skipping it can delay or even sabotage the innovation process. Through PossibleWorks’ Open Innovation Platform, Spark 2 Sparkle © , employees can submit an idea that necessarily fits into one of the company defined themes or categories, tag colleagues or mentors who they trust can add important value additions and get mobilized to pre-defined subject matter experts for the screening process.

The Advocacy & Screening stage is the time for weighing an idea’s pros and cons. Advocacy and screening have to take place at the same time to weed out ideas that lack potential without allowing stakeholders to reject ideas impulsively, solely on the basis of their novelty. Companies had more success when the evaluation process was transparent and standardized, because employees felt more comfortable contributing when they could anticipate how their ideas would be judged. The platform Spark 2 Sparkle © at this junction publishes the screened idea to the “Wall of Innovation” for proliferation across the board and to seek voluntary feedback from any part of the organization. As I said earlier, we don’t know what crucial knowledge and experience may lie in which nook and corner of the company. Inbuilt social features allow colleagues to publish their comments on the wall, share amongst a different set of colleagues or simply recognize the power of the idea through expressive emoticons.

The experimentation stage tests the sustainability of ideas for a particular organization at a particular time and in a particular environment. At this stage, it’s important to determine who the customer will be and what he or she will use the innovation for. With that in mind, the company might discover that although someone has a great idea, it is ahead of its time or just not right for a particular market. However, it’s important not to interpret these kinds of discoveries as failures as they could actually be the catalysts of new and better ideas. The Spark 2 Sparkle © platform at this stage passes the idea to a Level 2 assessor who has the requisite resources to assess the sustainability of the idea through a Proof of Concept or through focused surveys that can be triggered through the platforms inbuilt survey creator. Once the Level 2 assessor completes the experimentation and passes his approval, the idea automatically moves to a potential sponsor to evaluate the necessary commercial requirements.

In the commercialization stage, the organization should look to its customers to verify that the innovation actually solves their problems and then should analyze the costs and benefits of rolling out the innovation. It is at this stage that cost benefit analyses are conducted and the sponsor critically analyses the propensity of success against the quantum of investment required. In the platform this role is taken by a Level 3 assessor who typically would own P&L responsibilities and thus be empowered to commit investment to the project.

The implementation stage is the final stage of the process. At this stage, the refined and nurtured idea is prepared for implementation by setting up the structures and resources needed to deliver the outcome. The Level 4 assessor who mans the responsibility for the final stage of innovation has been attracting equally innovative titles like “Innovation Sherpa” and “Digital Prophets” in organizations that are religiously following the full lifecycle of innovation. In the Spark 2 Sparkle © platform, the level 4 assessor assigns the project manager and inducts the project into the organizational performance scorecard so its progress is closely monitored and measured for success.


The journey can be long and so it is important to keep the momentum going through all stages. In Spark 2 Sparkle (c) a full suite of recognition functionalities are inbuilt to allow awarding of badges and reward points at each stage. This combined with the application of game mechanics drives the necessary motivation and creates the right alignment to ensure each stakeholder is in sync to see the process through till the end.

And the Journey really never ends here, as the application and measurement of the implemented idea now becomes the principle subject for the next round of disruption.

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