The Five Characteristics of a Successful Innovation Programme: FROST

The world of “innovation” is one filled with jargon, fads, and with people waving their arms around on conference podiums.

So – how might you devise a successful innovation programme, without wasting weeks and months at conferences watching arm-wavers?

Give me the ingredients in PLAIN ENGLISH please!

In some recent consultancy work, I was asked to put together a succinct list of properties that any good innovation programme has.

Thinking back through my work with BBC News Labs, both in the lab and at events, and with other engineering & technology organisations, I distilled the required elements of a successful innovation programme down to five.

The Five Characteristics of a Successful Innovation Programme – FROST

  1. Focused – articulate the challenge using the “How might we … ?” question template.
  2. Regular – regular, recurring, ringfenced time.
  3. Open – the challenge is open and unrestricted, and importantly has no implementation details inserted.
  4. Safe – the participants really do honestly feel safe to take risks and try anything they want.
  5. Tangible – the outputs must be working prototypes (NOT just pictures or people waving their arms)

…which makes a nice acronym FROST – the most chilled innovation framework.

The FROST slide:

The FROST Innovation Programme Formula
The FROST Innovation Programme Success Formula

More about this soon.