Are we reflecting enough on the choice of the drivers of innovation?

There are many different places to go and ‘look’ for innovation but often we need to think through a little more of what is driving the changes before we ‘run off’ into finding solutions that are simply immediate to grow our organizations. Sometimes they are, of course in ‘plain sight’, but when you alter your thinking lens you might see innovation opportunities in different ways.

We might miss sizable opportunities in not exploring all the different drivers that are around to drive innovation and provide us opportunities. So why not take the time to ‘reflect’ a little bit more on all the different potential drivers of innovation available to you?

So what can and does drive innovation?

I’ve been recently looking at the different drivers that can be explored for innovation. They seem to be many and it can be confusing. I feel there are eight that merit thinking through in a more structured way. Working through these can significantly improve the agility and options of the organization to generate new opportunities and give you a ‘rich’ potential to explore.

My identified eight drivers of innovation

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Reflections from a tough 2010 for innovating differently in 2011

So here we are already in December. Budgets are being argued, numbers fixed, concepts and plans discussed, high hopes build for a successful 2011.

Tell me what did we learn from 2010 from an innovation perspective that we can build upon in 2011?  Here are some of my thoughts

For me a number of important lessons or impressions come out of 2010 that I’ll continue to build upon in 2011 as areas of opportunity for changing, challenging or clarifying. These I simply summarize in ten points for this blog:

I felt 2010 was a ‘crossing point’ in innovation maturity to position us in 2011. We began to consolidate what we know, explore with growing confidence what we didn’t know and experiment in-between.That was healthy in such a tough year of uncertainty. Now we need to build on this in different ways.

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Achieving a sense of renewal to your innovation activities.

Innovating for the future lies with a fresh approach

We need to constantly renew within ourselves. There is a time when your innovation efforts may need a serious renewal and for many this might be now. Knowing when to invest in an innovation renewal and organizing for it is like any other organizational activity.

Those that are honest enough to admit that what they have achieved to-date in innovation activity is just not going to ‘cut it’ for the future will be making a  very ‘tough’ call but it might be one of the best ones you are about to make. I think we all need to think of a renewal of innovation as essential in our thinking as over time many things have changed and moved on. We need not just to adjust in our objectives but more importantly to adapt and acknowledge that our innovation understanding has greatly improved, so we need to reflect this in our innovation structures, processes and systems.

Challenge the ‘legacy’ within.

Considerable investment has gone into previous innovation activity but much of this is actually ‘legacy’ and perhaps our current innovation practices are ‘frozen’ in past times and organized around out-of-date structures and processes. We all (should) have been learning about new concepts and approaches to innovation and what these can bring in growth, sustainability and value to our organizations.

Often we don’t allow ourselves to call for a thorough review of our innovation infrastructure.  We also sometimes need to expand out our thinking and push it a little more with future foresight, fresh visions and bolder challenges. We need to truly capitalize on the emerging practices of innovation, not just based only on yesterday’s experiments and successes or achieved through outdated past behaviors and thinking.

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