Integrating Innovation Step 3

This past November, Angela Yeh, Founder and CEO of Yeh IDeology, took part in DMI’s Web Conversations, geared towards organizations and business owners, management and hiring managers with the specific topic challenge: "How to Build Innovation into Your Organization”   In this series, we’ll be revisiting Angela’s talk, “Integrating Innovation,” while highlighting excerpts, thoughts from the talk, and delving further as we go into each of Angela’s 7 best tips for innovation success and 3 major pitfalls to avoid.

Shall we continue?

INTEGRATING INNOVATION Step #3: Awareness of Innovation. Establishing the Baseline Amongst Your Stakeholders.


The last two blogs focused on identifying the types of innovation best-suited to your organization and the challenges at hand, and the appropriate scale of this initiative. The “What” and “Where” and “How much” of integrating innovation.

At this stage, it can be very tempting to just go and get started – avoid this temptation. Before you go doling out tasks, it’s important to identify your stakeholders – who they are and where they stand in respect to innovative change. This will likely identify potential challenges and/or quick wins. Begin by asking: Who is aware of innovation or disruption occurring in your space and other related industries? It doesn’t matter what role you play or where you sit within the hierarchy, you need to assess those around you. It’s about education – understanding those above you, below you, at your level and across all departments – who they are, what they do.

Of this group, to what degree are they aware of innovation?  How much do they already know? Are your stakeholders starting from scratch, somewhere in the middle, or ahead of the pack? Take copious notes – this is where you’ll begin to see gaps, key advantages and critical relationships to leverage down the line, as well as discover potential challenges and/or quick wins that all feed into your overall strategy. Keep digging. Given the initiative, how much more education will your stakeholders need in order to contribute? For that matter, ask yourself whether you’re part of this group, and how much education will you need to participate.

Remember this: Your capacity to understand innovation affects your potential to achieve it. The point here is to pause and take stock. Determining who and what you have to work with helps establish your starting point, your baseline, and your strategy going forward.

Next on our blog series: Step #4: Agents of Change. Identifying Evangelists, Designating Leaders.

Interested in this topic or others we've been speaking about? Want to hear directly from Angela Yeh and her 15+ years of design recruiting experience? Drop us a line at