Productable Way

Bureaucracy, Barriers and The Primary Ps of Innovation That Fix It All

These Primary Ps of Innovation are all equally crucial to driving organization impact, and we’ve built them directly into the Productable software. We call this methodology the Productable Way, and it is designed to drive organizations toward their desired outcomes. 

People seem surprised when I say that I didn’t set out to be an entrepreneur, as if all entrepreneurs have dreamed about being entrepreneurs since they were little kids. A whole lot of frustration and a healthy dose of failure put me on this path. I spent years working on innovation teams only to see the same barriers stifle innovation over and over again. 

Through all of these frustrations and failures, I began collecting data and spotting trends. I noticed the large corporations I worked with all faced the same innovation challenges, like bureaucracy, process barriers and the detrimental hits of misalignment. I also saw the Shark Tank startups I worked with kicking butt, taking names and innovating like rockstars. 

These startups all benefited from the venture capital ecosystem, which I talk about in this blog post. So, what did they have that billion dollar corporations didn’t have? I analyzed the innovation trends that were in front of me until I was blue in the face and realized that the most innovative companies all nailed these three areas of innovation governance: Portfolio Management, Progress Measurement & People Empowerment. 

These Primary Ps of Innovation are all equally crucial to driving organization impact, and we’ve built them directly into the Productable software. We call this methodology the Productable Way, and it is designed to drive organizations toward their desired outcomes. 

Productable introduces the Primary Ps of Innovation - Portfolio Management, Progress Measurement, People Empowerment
The Primary Ps of Innovation

Portfolio Management is about strategy, resource allocation and decision making. 

The Why: This is where true innovation strategy and governance starts. Portfolio Management is the leadership approach that sets a team up for success, mitigates risk and produces the highest return on investment. The portfolio approach to innovation is all about strategic alignment and long-term outcomes, prioritizing the health of the entire portfolio versus a single project. 

The How: Exemplary Portfolio Management requires establishing a vision and desired outcomes, creating a predetermined strategy around resource allocation and making confident decisions to more effectively deliver on your strategic outcomes. The key to successful Portfolio Management is mitigating your innovation risk through fearless experimentation. 

The Misnomer: The innovation industry has mangled the portfolio concept, which isn’t doing innovating organizations any favors. Many innovation practitioners think of a portfolio as a collection of projects, a way to see all your innovations in one place. But it’s more than that. It’s time we as an innovation community shift our thinking and start to look at Portfolio Management as a strategic approach…a vehicle that gets organizations to their desired outcomes by enabling a repeatable innovation process.

Progress Measurement is about cadence, reporting and repeatability. 

The Why: This is the thing that promotes accountability and acceleration across all innovations. Progress Measurement is the often missing foundation that clearly defines responsibilities, improves project velocity and enables problem-solving. In short, our approach to progress measurement keeps things moving along. 

The How: Proper Progress Measurement requires establishing a feedback cadence, systematizing reporting, identifying milestones and escalating wins, barriers and asks in a timely manner. The key to effective Progress Measurement is the ability to keep things moving with a repeatable process. 

The Misnomer: The idea that progress should be managed on a project-by-project basis with the help of a project management tool is misleading. Project metrics are only a small piece of the progress puzzle and must be looked at holistically as part of a portfolio. Often the people who drive progress are not the ones working on the project, and it’s important to give them additional ways to champion and make decisions while looking at the bigger picture. 

People Empowerment is about skills, ecosystem support and concept development. 

The Why: This is where execution is either enabled or destroyed. People Empowerment exists as a way to shape great innovators and give them the skills and support they need to keep projects moving forward. Our people approach empowers action, embraces failure and aligns talent to the problems being solved. 

The How: True People Empowerment requires adopting innovation best practices and using them to properly develop concepts, curating skills-based teams that will drive results and navigating your innovation ecosystem to get stakeholder buy-in. 

The Misnomer: Creating teams isn’t about just who is available. It’s about finding the right people with the right skills to execute. Organizations often shoot themselves in the foot by matching the wrong teams to projects or by failing to give people the right tools at the right time, which is a surefire way to crush a good idea.

The Productable Way

Productable is the thing that aligns these Primary Ps of Innovation. Consider us your North Star. The guiding light that shows you the way to innovation success. Portfolio + Progress + People are all crucial to innovation, and Productable is the thing that brings it all together.

Rachel Kuhr Conn is an entrepreneur, intrapreneur, researcher, world-traveler and lifelong academic dedicated to making true transformation easier for all. She founded Productable after perfecting her own innovation process for Mark Cuban’s portfolio of startups and is on a mission to help the world’s largest organizations drive fearless experimentation. 

Learn how to hedge your innovation bets.

The Ultimate Guide to Portfolio Innovation

In the ebook, you'll learn all about how portfolio innovation sets leaders like you up for success. You'll discover how to apply basic principles of investing to your innovation strategy to mitigate risk, prioritize resource allocation and execute on desired outcomes.

Download the Ebook — it's free
Portfolio Innovation
Primary Ps of Innovation
Portfolio Management
Progress Measurement
People Empowerment
The Productable Way

Innovation Newsletter

About the Author
Author: Rachel Kuhr Conn

Learn how to hedge your innovation bets.

View the Ebook