Understanding the ISO Standard for Innovation Management – Concepts & Benefits

About the Episode

Elijah Eilert speaks to Andy Cars, the founder and CEO of Lean Ventures International, about the ISO standards for innovation management. Having participated in the ISO creation process, Andy Cars will discuss the concepts around ISO standards and how organisations can benefit from them. The aim is to create a long-term innovation strategy and transform an organisation’s culture into a value creation mindset.

Topics and Insights 

  • (01:09) Introducing Andy Cars owner of Lean Ventures International AB
  • (03:52) Discussing Andy’s contribution to the ISO standards for innovation management 
  • (05:31) Providing an overview of the ISO standards for innovation management and its structure:
    • ISO 56000 – Fundamentals and vocabulary, 2019
    • ISO 56001 – Innovation management system – Requirements, 2026 (TBC)
    • ISO 56002 – Innovation management system – Guidance, July 2019
    • ISO 56003 – Tools and methods for innovation partnership – Guidance, Feb 2019
    • ISO 56004 – Innovation Management Assessment – Guidance, Feb 2019
    • ISO 56005 – Intellectual property management – Guidance, Nov 2020
    • ISO 56006 – Strategic intelligence management – Guidance, 2021 (TBC)
    • ISO 56007 – Idea management – Guidance, 2021 (TBC)
    • ISO 56008 – Innovation Operation Measurements – Guidance, 2022(TBC)
  • (07:05) This ISO series is better seen as “centred around a number of core principles that are there as a guide for organisations to have when they are trying to implement an innovation management system” and less as a standard where a company can receive an actual certificate
  • (10:36) Why it is important to define innovation and how the standards can help
  • (12:57) The principles of The Agile Manifesto and their similarity to ISO 56000 is discussed as a set of principles rather than as a traditional standard the ISO establishes 
  • (14:31) The 8 principles of ISO 56000:2020:
    • 1. Realization of value
    • 2. Future-focused leaders
    • 3. Strategic direction
    • 5. Culture 
    • 4. Exploiting insights
    • 6. Managing uncertainty 
    • 7. Adaptability
    • 8. Systems approach
  • (15:42) On the axiom for innovation management to identify and focus on the barriers to innovation
  • (16:27) How to use ISO to optimise innovation ecosystems systematically
  • (16:28) Why innovation is a long-term marathon rather than a 100-metre sprint, and why organisations need to consistently develop a muscle for innovation
  • (18:48) Changes in the organisation’s culture and insights start with an entrepreneurial mindset
  • Going into the specifics of principle 6. Managing Uncertainty that is defined by the ISO. The definition nicely illustrates the general nature of the standard

Innovation activities need to address high degrees of variation and uncertainty, particularly during the early creative phases. They’re exploratory and characterised by search, experimentation and learning. As the process progresses, knowledge is gained, and uncertainty is reduced.”

  • (19:00) On the need for an innovation strategy 
  • (21:40) The Value Proposition of the standards and specifically 56002 is a great way of getting started with building a proper system. Secondly, it enables the ability to influence leadership and the rest of the organisation with a peer reviewed approach that is backed by a well regarded organisation
  • (22:32) Andy and Elijah are clearly outed as nerds, proving that innovation management is clearly maturing
  • (25:05) On major red flags for innovation in large organisations, which are, for example, a lack of ownership and a disconnection from the people for whom value is created for. 
  • (26:42) Tips around measuring innovation culture
  • (32:43) On the 40 different barriers to innovation, identified by Andy,  such as a lack of budget, lack of full-time innovation teams
  • (32:45) On the likelihood of innovation success and how many bets it takes to win
  • (32:50) On innovation as an insurance policy 
  • (33:54) How incentives are directly connected to building a culture of innovation in an organisation. Earnings per Share (EPS) as a KPI for senior management can be a problem for a long-term innovation strategy.
  • (35:32) How well can analysts be informed about the innovative potential of a company? How to incentivise CEOs to invest in innovation by talking about their legacy
  • (43:33) The importance of targeting the right market to create value innovation
  • (45:29) How the Long-Term Stock Exchange (LTSE) can help with a better incentive structure for innovation
  • (53:48) innovation could be institutionalised as the “fourth bottom line” in addition to the triple bottom line accounting system, where social and environmental reports are added to traditional financial reports (people, planet, profit + innovation).
  • (54:00) On the need for a Chief Entrepreneurship/Innovation Officer (as championed by Alexander Osterwalder).
  • (54:25) On innovation and making this world a better place. The first principle of the ISO is the realisation of value and that is not only monetary value (and a silly joke from Elijah, that worked out for a change). The ISO definition for value is:

“Value is not limited to financial value, but can be any kind of value should such as experience wellbeing or social value”

  • (56:17) On wellbeing and how it should appear  more often on the agenda within large multinational organisations
  • (57:10)Innovating within large organisations is hard for individuals, and until a properly designed and managed system to innovate is established, it most likely will not change.
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Show Transcript

About the Guest

Andy is a serial entrepreneur with 16 years of international experience. In addition to coaching more than 200 startup teams on how to take their ideas to market, he has worked with some of the world’s largest companies to help build their innovation capabilities.

Andy is currently on the investment committee of the European Innovation Council that is tasked with funding European startups. He has also co-written ISO 56002, the world’s first international guiding standard for innovation management. Andy is passionate about innovation and entrepreneurship and likes to see both the businesses and people that he works with grow and prosper.

Connect with Andy


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