The decision is yours

Innovation requires your organization to do something new.  Not necessarily new to the world, but new to your company.  If you're doing something truly new to your organization, then it's impossible to know what the end result will be.  Every company is unique, so even borrowed ideas cannot be incorporated without careful integration.

One of my clients said "You can only operationalize what is known."  He is right.  And yet, I see so many companies looking for detailed innovation processes that will dictate the end result before a project actually begins.  There are even more consultants who are selling processes that promise to do just that.

Most companies make their money by setting up processes that can run on autopilot.  This only works if you know what you are making, and you have done it before.  You have a benchmark for improvement.  However, the results of an innovation process are not known.  There is no process, tool, or technique that can determine the answer for you.

A good process will show structure and rigor in guiding the thought process, but it will never dictate an answer.  An autopilot cannot make decisions.  It can only execute a preset response to a known set of inputs.  When you are in uncharted territory you need good people to make decisions based on the new information they receive.  It is irresponsible to think that this responsibility can be passed off by choosing a "process" that will make the decisions for you.