New report from Ernst & Young recommends a “spiral” approach to innovation

A recent Ernst & Young report, Innovating for growth, finds that leading innovators take advantage of changes in their external environment, continually revamp their business models and innovate with an end goal in mind. For the most innovative companies today, innovation isn’t a linear process, but a continuous cycle or “spiral” that can be leveraged to drive growth.

According to the new Ernst & Young report, Innovating for growth, companies from emerging markets are coming up with breakthrough products and services all the time. Size is no longer important as small players grab market share in niche areas. Engaged customers, aided by social media, are changing traditional research and development. Yet the spiral approach is a robust process for innovation that can provide both flexibility and structure for companies of all types.

Ernst & Young’s research found that these three tactics are essential for the spiral approach to work, as they help companies quickly progress from generating ideas to implementing them:

Get ideas from everywhere. Having as many ideas as possible, no matter where they are from, is a critical ingredient to thinking.

Learn to fail. The best way to be innovative is to experiment which may result in failure. However, if you learn from your failures, you can get quick feedback and improve.

Go to market even if you are not ready. It’s easy to come up with new ideas and become obsessed with perfecting them. Sometimes you have to take a risk and get your products to market quickly, even if it’s not 100% complete.