1. Make sure innovation is embedded in your company's vision and strategy
Strategy is a collection of thoughtful decisions designed to ensure that your company achieves certain goals. It describes how the various departments (marketing, IT, finance, operations, R&D, etc.) should work together toward these goals. Usually, efforts around innovation are not sufficiently aligned with this business strategy. If there is an innovation strategy at all, it is often based on what is already there. Then again, you don't start making a grocery list after you get from the store, do you?
Without a clear, integrated innovation strategy, innovation in your company becomes a mishmash of different initiatives and best practices (crowdsourcing, autonomous teams, external partnerships, corporate venturing, etc.) for which it is not clear how they contribute to value creation and the achievement of business goals. Without an innovation strategy, you run the risk that different departments will have conflicting priorities, resulting in a failure to integrate different perspectives and exploit the strength of this diversity.