If someone asks you to name 3 innovative companies, the companies you will name will most probably be the ones that go about doing innovations as a continuous process. Less of strategy and more as way of life, they are the ones who have escaped from the trap of planning for the innovation long ago and have got down to doing it.
You will also notice that these companies do not invent big every day, however they make sure they do it continuously. The small innovations get the due acknowledgment which paves the way for big. Innovation does not need to be always radical.
On the other hand some companies are accidental innovators, nothing wrong, except that the probability of unintentional innovation is slim.
The top management has a reason to be not happy with one-off innovations. Try this,
1) Have intention to move towards innovative culture, make it as visible as possible, part of your every communication.
2) Do previous step often
3) And when you do this often, you and others in your team will figure out the how part, yes it just happens!
The most important things are the simplest, just that they are not the most obvious. While you are figuring out the how part, do check out the following
a) Your employees and customers who are NOT part of your R&D team are also well placed to provide the ideas.
b) Find a way to reach outside your enterprise boundary, the latest trend has got all the top companies initiate collaborative innovation in some form or other.
c) Invest in collaboration software which enables innovation management
Process enablement promotes perseverance, perseverance brings sustainability … building sustainable innovation culture itself needs innovation.