Innovation after all is about bringing great ideas to life and not investing a lot of resource in the not-so-great ideas. As the HBR link below suggests, it's about permeating innovation culture throughout the organisation.
So what makes this permeation of innovative thinking and execution possible in 'BAU land'? Based on our experience, there are three things that are table-stakes that you must do to get going
1) Hiring and promoting the right mindset
Ensure that people that you hire are builders and not just doers, even if they are in operational roles. These are the people that will constantly think "how can i make X better".
Once hired, make sure that failing is part of the job. Good failing is failure that is planned for, expected to be a specified possible outcome, and is managed in a cost-effective way.
2) Single Codified Process for Innovation and Co-Creation
Every company will have different innovation structures, models and processes. Even if innovation teams sit on the edge of the organisation, there has to be a process that is able to deploy them into the organisation. Ensuring that there is a single innovation process throughout the organisation is key to making sure that ideas get thought of, scaled and killed in the most effective way. Most important however is that the single innovation process will allow you to innovate with your customers in the best possible way.
3) Small things as important as big
Every organisation plans for, works on and then talks about the big successful innovation project. For example when UberEats launched in the USA, there was a lot of noise about it. To me this is as important as the small shifts, like when Uber made available a rider's star rating inside the app. Balancing small and big keep the momentum, keep the ideas pipe humming along and provide you the ability to touch your customer with new products, services, features constantly.
You can’t just designate a budget for a few innovators and let the rest of the corporation conduct business as usual. The willingness to experiment has to permeate the whole organization.... ...embracing innovation may necessitate a major cultural shift and the casting overboard of supposedly tried-and-true ways of doing business.