Veech Innovation Model

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This is a very brief outline of the Veech Innovation Model .  The key is to appreciate that no matter how skilled you may be, and not matter how good your ideas may be, you can't be successful alone.

[Text insert 2006] You can see from the date below that this idea is 10 years old.  From what I can see it's still only understood and applied by me.  Recently in the process of evaluating 30 new innovations, I saw clearly for the first time how modern knowledge led innovation was distinctly different from industrial innovation.  I came back to my original model thinking "I need to build a new model". But I was wrong: that work has already been done.  In my view, the Veech Innovation Model, stands the test of time.  [End]

The Veech Innovation Model has five parts;

                         (1) Personal Effort       | (4) Information | 
                  - -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --- ---|----------------------->(5) Outputs
                          (2) Community Support    | (3) Resources  | 

Personal Effort

Without the effort of individuals and particularly the input of the project champion little can be accomplished.  The project champion is the person who has a vision of the completed task and the energy to push the project forward.  It's not uncommon for the project champion to misunderstand how other people will view the project.  Being very close to the idea can distort one's vision.

It's not appropriate to see champions as heroic figures.  They are leaders, thought leaders and better still people leaders.  Leaders need to find people to be members of the support and production team.  

The best Information

People often begin projects with inadequate information, and sometimes with wrong information.  In the process of doing the work new facts will become known.  Problems that were never imagined suddenly appear.  A complete rethink of the project may be needed.  A simple thing like a misleading name may disguise something you need to know and understand.  Every project has a hiding hand, something will go wrong.  Use that as a learning opportunity.

Community Support

Early in the life of any project people close to the project champion may be hugely influential just with positive or negative comment.  All new ideas are very fragile in the beginning.  Depending on the type of project sooner or later the idea must be exposed to a larger public.  Often the initial reaction to a "new idea" is a very poor guide to it's real potential. The support of leading customers is particularly important.

Fairly early in the process the champion needs to convince at least one other person that this idea is worth the effort.  Eventually one needs to convince a lot of people that it's worth the effort.  Users or customers are critical to the success of every innovation.

Resources

No amount of resources can make a success out of a misguided idea.  Likewise even the best ideas need real resources.  Often in the beginning all that's needed is working space, materials and lots of time.  Living support for the project champion is helpful but in the beginning is unlikely.  Once the project is ready to run, more substantial resources are usually needed.  This is where public support for the project can make a huge difference.  Many of the best projects came out of back rooms and garages.  Humble beginnings are par for the course.  In the beginning keep costs very low.  Once you ask for help, particularly for substantial amounts of money, the clock starts ticking on the completion date.

Veech Innovation Model

Outputs

The result of pulling together the entire package, personal effort, good ideas, public support and sufficient resources should be a really good try.  Success is still not certain.  However, even failures have value, and a good failure leads on to new projects and makes it possible to retain many of the same supporting team.  You learn a lot from an honest failure.  A team that fails in one project may go on to future success if there is trust and good communication.  

John Veitch