A true test of innovation

David Soulsby
TNS Global

To achieve game-changing innovation and avoid cannibalisation, new products should be researched for their incremental growth potential at the concept screening stage

The Nobel Prize-winning chemist Linus Pauling once declared: "The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas." He's half right. Having lots of ideas is a great start, but it won't get you very far unless you can recognise which are the good ones. Most companies have lots of ideas; far fewer end up developing and launching the right ones.

An efficient innovation process requires making the right calls about potential winners before the expensive and resource-hungry business of product development even begins, at the stage known as concept screening. Once significant time and money has been spent developing a product, it becomes difficult to put the brakes on. If innovation is to deliver value to the bottom line, then it is essential to get concept screening right.