Developing your innovation portfolio

September 15, 2014       The NonProfit Times      

It is hard to decide what to do with all of the information you have gathered, according to Sandra M. Bates in her book, “The Social Innovation Imperative.” Bates suggested an ideation portfolio, an overall plan for how the opportunities will be addressed. The portfolio is composed of a series of ideation strategies that are designed to address opportunities systematically, along various platform and time horizons and to address various stakeholder criteria.

Each strategy is defined by several factors:

  • Members. Which member or members of the ecosystem will be focused upon? Are there specific sub-segments of the members who will be targeted?
  • Opportunities. Which opportunities will be targeted? In many cases there will be more opportunities than can be handled at one time.
  • Platform. Can the opportunities be addressed on an existing platform? If so, which one, or does a new platform have to be created?
  • Time horizon of the solution. Do we need quick wins of medium-term solutions? Or are we looking for breakthroughs that can take years to implement?
  • Stakeholder criteria. What are the priorities of the organization’s key stakeholders? Speed to launch, low cost to the end user, low development cost and effort, or maximization of the social value created?