Why Innovation Tournaments are so Important?
Innovation Tournaments is a framework that aims to enhance ideas generation to end up with exceptional opportunities. A major related publication to the frameworks is the book Innovation Tournaments: Creating and Selecting Exceptional Opportunities by Christian Terwiesch and Karl Ulrich
The idea of an innovation tournament is to treat ideas as if they were competing in a tournament. In this, we can start with many participating ideas competing through different stages, resulting in one or few final ideas.
Over different stages, the number of ideas will decrease as they get disqualified through filters and competitions, ensuring higher-quality ideas reach the tournament's end. Between each stage, you can design filters through which ideas get abandoned, recreated, or merged with others.
The Advantages of Innovation Tournaments:
There are many reasons you would want to adopt an innovation tournament structure to your processes, here are a few:
- Risk reduction: pursuing any innovative endeavor is risky. In a perfect non-existent situation, an organization would invest in one idea or pick one out of many after one filter. However, bucking on one idea means a higher risk that our investment will not yield any returns. An innovation tournament structure reduces the risk by considering multiple ideas at each stage of the development.
- Scalability: innovation tournaments can be easily scaled up and down to match the size of the participating members. Thus, it can be applied to a small team of few people or in an organization of 100+ people.
- Avoid Biases: When designed correctly, they can eliminate many biases based on the ideas’ owners and focus more on the ideas themselves.
- Works for identifying opportunities & solving problems: organizations often in two types of innovation activities, generating opportunities or/and solving problems. An innovation tournament structure can fit both.
What are filters that can go between stages?
Filters can be customized based on your needs. They can range from quick checkpoints to group votes to more elaborated studies and evaluations, including building prototypes and/or market testing. Like a sports tournament or general elections, the earlier filters can be quicker, allowing the elimination of more ideas quickly. This is while the latter filters can be more elaborate. In other words, the investment per idea filtered increases as the tournament advances. For example, earlier filters can include quick votes, while later filters can include prototyping and testing.
If you feel that Innovation Tournaments can work for your organization, feel free to get in touch. We can help you construct an Innovation Tournament for your needs.