When you hear the word “innovation,” do you immediately think of the iPad? Fortunately for most companies, innovation isn’t limited to products and neither is the concept of monetizing your team’s innovative thinking.

That’s good news for the 78 percent of executives who say that innovation is very important to their ability to succeed and strengthen competitive advantage in the next one to three years—that, according to our latest Global Executive Sentiment Survey.

These executives understand that to stay healthy in an increasingly demanding marketplace, innovation must be a fully integrated part of their companies’ day-to-day operations. And that innovation must translate into a bump for the bottom line.

What is your leadership mandate?

But before you can turn ideas into income, you’ve got to ensure that innovation can thrive at your organization. There are four pillars vital to the life of an idea:

  • One: there must be a leadership mandate, a consensus among top leaders at your company that you will not only encourage innovation but be open to acting on it as well.
  • Two: you must have the dedicated resources and infrastructure necessary for ideas to prosper and develop.
  • Three: your company must have a creative process in place that is solely dedicated to the nurture of innovation and its implementation.
  • Four: your culture must be supportive of innovative growth opportunities — not just on paper, but also through concrete, consistent action.

If you feel that your organization is lacking any of these four pillars, your first step to monetizing innovation is addressing the weakness you’ve identified above.

Once all four pillars are firmly in place, however, you can turn your attention and resources to transforming your incubated idea into revenue.

Join the innovation conversation by following Insigniam on Twitter.

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