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New ISO 50501 to foster Innovations

Germans, in particular, are used to having everything certified, tested, sealed, and verified, from the smoothie purchased at the supermarket to the sports shoes and all the more so when it comes to all technical things. Did you know that we even have a DIN standard specifying the writing and layout rules for private or official letters (DIN 5008)? When it comes to innovation management, by contrast, creative chaos still reigns in some places. But experts from 47 countries want to change this situation as from early 2018. ISO 50501 is the magic word. ITONICS, a pioneer in innovation management, welcomes this development and briefly explains what this is all about.

What is the ISO 50501?

The International Organization of Standards (www.iso.org) is an independent international organization that creates requirements, specifications, guidelines or characteristics to achieve consistent knowledge, and a common understanding, of professional processes. Currently, the ISO is represented in more than 160 countries.

The ISO 50501 standard relates to the topic of innovation management and is expected to be launched in early 2018 to provide the world’s first common standard for innovation processes. Experts from 47 countries have worked on this guideline for several years. They want to endow companies with tools they can use to bindingly map their innovation management.  

What’s behind all this?

Hakan Ozon, one of the ISO experts, describes the provisional principles of the ISO 50501 as follows*:

The principles are the core of the standard. They are such that for an organization to be considered innovative (in the eyes of the standard) it needs to fulfill the principles (to some extent). The innovation management principles describe what characterizes an innovative organization and are mainly intended to operate as guidelines for improvement. I will here provide you with a brief insight of the principles but must put to your attention that this is work in progress and may not be the end result.

  1. Realization of value
  2. Future-focused leaders
  3. Purposeful direction
  4. Innovation culture
  5. Exploitable insights
  6. Mastering uncertainty
  7. Adaptability

What is this good for and for whom?

ISO 50501 addresses private and public organizations as well as NGOs of all sizes and covers the following innovation areas:

  • Marketplace Innovation
  • Value Chain Innovation
  • Process Improvement Innovation
  • Organizational Culture Innovation
  • Product/Service Innovation
  • Social Innovation

The ambitious goal of the ISO experts is to create an innovation booster to make sure that, going forward, innovation management is operated using one common terminology and one harmonized standard.

At ITONICS, we have been using standardized processes for a long time already leaving innovation management neither to chance nor to chaos – to the benefit of our partners and customers around the world. We therefore welcome this much needed general professionalization by way of the ISO 50501 and will gladly assist you with any questions or suggestions relating to this topic!


* http://hakanozan.net/2016/iso-technical-committee-on-innovation-management-systems/