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So you want to become more innovative? Now what? Innovation is not a concept you can embrace overnight. It’s more of a process than anything. Take into account these three key points as you make a cultural shift:

1. Think beyond ideas. What systems do you have in place to foster creativity? Ideas can fail, but methodologies can help you move forward and stay on track in terms of deadlines.

2. Test, repeat and refine. Ideas are only as good as their execution. Start by doing textbook research then actually test your concept on a pre-determined target audience in a specific time frame. Find out what works (and doesn’t) and repeat until you have a refined end product.

3. Evaluate your success. Check in every now and then. Don’t be afraid to halt the project or put it on hold. Evaluation should occur at every step of your journey, and you should always be thinking about its viability and how it fits into the larger picture. Don’t get caught up trying to make something succeed that simply doesn’t have legs. In other words, don’t innovate simply for the sake of innovation.

It also doesn’t hurt to follow the efforts of innovative companies you admire. What can you learn from their successes (and failures)?