Innovation unearthed: Dispatches, dialogues, and deviations from the front lines of innovation.

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Companies are eager to build their in-house innovation capability, but often have serious concerns about getting started. Here, ?What If!’s New York-based Capability & Culture team shares some quick responses to the questions they’re asked on innovation’s front lines.

1. “Meeting our corporate growth objectives demand more and better innovation—and fast. How do I even begin to confront this challenge?”

First, it’s important to get clear on your innovation ambition and agenda before setting new initiatives in motion. So carefully and specifically define the role innovation needs to play in delivering growth. Where should innovation investments be focused? Is innovation needed to defend or recharge key brands or categories? Do you seek to capture adjacencies and/or move into white spaces? How much disruptive thinking do you have the need—and appetite—for encouraging in the organization?

Once you have the goal well-defined, it’s helpful to examine the current state of play: What kind of innovation pipeline is already in p...

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