Your first stage of the Innovation Flywheel is triggered by initiators.
Initiators are cautiously excited about the innovation Flywheel as a potential solution to their business goals. They don’t care about the wide range of use-cases that can be addressed, but they are focused on their particular business area and how they could source new solutions.
Without a senior executive taking an active role in a project to overcome organizational antibodies, even the most thought-through plans can fail. Initiators provide executive air cover and hold the team accountable to learn what’s most important.
An Initiator is someone senior enough to clear roadblocks, but not so senior that they cannot meet with the team. They have an area that could benefit from innovation and are actively looking to innovate or can be convinced to try it out. In the end, it would not make sense to start collecting ideas if no-one has the power to implement them. Innovation needs to work for someone, not just work.
Starting out, the innovation team might have to look for an initiator, but as the Innovation-Led Growth approach spreads, the organizations initiators will start reaching out on their own, initiating and sponsoring their own idea collections.