Innovative ideas are the wellspring of any company’s growth. In fact, in a February 2014 presentation, Herman Wories of the DSM Innovation Center said: “Innovation is no longer a competitive advantage: it’s a competitive necessity. In order to keep up, you need to continuously innovate.” And although collecting ideas is a great first move, it’s nurturing those ideas into a more robust pitch that helps organizations make careful decisions.
Oftentimes, organizations develop their own questions or approach towards refining the ideas and preparing them for delivery, but one approach that was developed by EDG and utilized by numerous companies like BBC, Johnson & Johnson, Kaiser Permanente, Panasonic, Panera Bread, and others. Essentially, the CO-STAR model is a template that gets team members to review an idea through six key criteria. In this model, even more important than the idea itself are questions like this that require answers:
Will the idea be relevant to a customer? And even before you answer this question you have to understand this: who is your customer? Thinking about any solution from the end user perspective often catapults it forward or reveals that it doesn’t have enough
Will there be a market for it? This part requires research, getting to know the competitive landscape. Investigating this often reveals not only potholes in the process, but sometimes even opportunities – new technologies that exist, emerging trends, and beyond.
Who is going to help create it? Identifying the skills and team members who are capable of executing an idea often tells ideators right off the bat if what they want to do is not only necessary, but feasible. Knowing who will build it and how is a key part of taking ideation to the next stage.
If you’re interested in learning more about CO-STAR, its application in innovation programs, and its use at the BBC, please register for this complimentary webinar on October 21st at 9 a.m. PST.