An innovation management system: what is it?

As I am on my way to Dubai to participate as a representative of France in the drafting of the ISO 56001 Innovation Management standard, I wonder what I would answer to someone who would ask me this question!

To explain it, there is nothing like the well-known golden circle described by Simon Sinek, which allows us not to start with the least attractive thing, the standard itself, but with its reason for being.


  1. Why ISO 56001 Innovation Management?
  2. How to provide a framework for innovation management?
  3. What is the content of the ISO 56001 standard?


Why ISO 56001 Innovation Management?

The topic of innovation is no longer a subject that only inspiring and innovative leaders, like Steve Jobs, or startups, like geeks in the back of their garage, can tackle.

Those days are over. Innovation concerns everyone and in particular any organization for which nothing is taken for granted, starting with its current activity…

Innovation must therefore become a managerial practice just like any other and accessible to any individual, whether he or she is within an organization or not.

But here is the crux of the problem… how to integrate a managerial practice that apparently goes against all others?

In other words, how to allow an uncertain management when the whole organization is based on a total control (if it is possible) of this uncertainty…

This is where the “Why?” lies, the “raison d’être” of the ISO innovation management standard: to allow any organization to give innovation its rightful place, despite its antinomic character with the operation of an activity.

How to provide a framework for innovation management? 


First of all, it is necessary to accept that innovation does not fit in the mental scheme of the managers and collaborators of a “normal” organization whose ultimate goal, as we have just seen, is to exploit and control a well defined activity.

Once this awareness has been made, the next step is to understand what this “other” mental scheme is.

You will retort that innovation implies not having a particular pattern in order to be open to any opportunity that arises to solve problems that are difficult to solve elsewhere.
Yes, I completely agree on the substance, but if we leave it at that, there are two problems:

– No one will ever understand the innovator.
– No organization will ever risk letting the wolf into the henhouse.


This is why we must finally take a step forward and accept that there is a certain rationality in any innovation practice. The standard is there to prove it!

Here is the “How? : to provide a generic framework applicable in all circumstances and by any structure.
The ISO 56000 standard describes in detail the “mental map” inherent to the integration of innovation in an organization.

The standard spells out all the cornerstones and the links between them, which will make any company and organization a viable space for innovation.

As the saying goes, “the law liberates”! Within the framework you can and must be creative (don’t hesitate to go outside if you have to 😉).

But take advantage of this framework because it is there to give you a shared and sharable thread. Start by discovering and understanding it, you can implement it with confidence!


What is the content of the ISO 56001 standard?

Here we are at last, the “what?” corresponds to the content of this famous standard which has already been published (ISO56002 – guidance standard).
It is part of the long list of management standards that accompany organizations in the implementation of good practices on many subjects.

Its main chapters show an unstoppable rationality in the way it approaches the subject:

– Perimeter
– Reference standard
– Terms and definitions
– Context of the organization
– Leadership
– Objectives
– Resources
– Operations
– Performance
– Improvement

Each chapter describes a specific approach to innovation with its own specific cultural bias.

If it were still necessary to legitimize this work in the eyes of patent innovators who are reluctant to follow “a standard”, I would do so by assuring you that this work has been done and continues to be worked on, by true experts in innovation on an international scale.
When I joined this group, I was the first to be surprised by the high level of exchanges in the working sessions, the quality of listening and the experts’ grounding in the reality of practices in each of their countries.
France is not to be outdone, starting with the President of the International Commission on Innovation Management, Johan Claire, designer of the only game “the year of innovation” which allows to understand the standard in its entirety and without pain!

Innovation has become a real culture shared around the world and the maturity of the standard’s lawyers is undeniable.

This Monday, February 27th, the working session starts in Dubai with 30 international experts (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Spain, France, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Portugal, Sweden, UK, US,… are represented).
Nearly 1000 comments (from the latest version) to be discussed are waiting for us!
It goes without saying that we will continue to challenge the relevance of a regulatory standard (vs. a recommendation standard) and will sub-weigh and refine each of the chosen terms…

Rest assured, all the experts, of which I have the honor of being a part, will be committed to providing a framework that is structuring but above all not inhibiting for innovation!

In the meantime, don’t hesitate to dive into the 56002 – recommendation standard. Everything is there!

Instant and customized workflow!

✅ Organise your call to project

✅ Train your teams

✅ Support your project

✅ Pilot each project and the entire portfolio