My real area of dedicated focus and wish to achieve, is in supporting organizations, teams or even the individual, to really build their capability and capacity to innovate.
The critical design is of three mutually supporting capability building platforms do need to be put into place.
Within an organizational setting you need to have in place three supporting capability building platforms; organizational supporting, knowledge and competency gathering, and a clear innovation process to channel new capacity through as final products or new services. All three need to be in place and integrated.
If you have these three platforms in place you can begin to move from more of an ad hoc set of capabilities through to a more integrated, synergistic and unique innovation capability framework to grow from.
Organizational support platform is made of proving clear leadership and commitment to building capabilities by setting in place an infrastructure that accesses, anchors and diffuses capacity, so it not just flows but is constantly creating and exploiting for new economic and social value. You need to ensure the conditions for a trusting environment and climate are actively worked on and supported and finally provide the resources and ways to measure this to support and re-enforce the value of this corporate initiative. You should take a look at a previous blog here:
Knowledge & competency platform is where you permit time to discover and absorb what is being made available. The key absorptive capacities mentioned above. Deliberately allowing the time to explore both the external world and the internal world, and then setting about to capturing this ‘new’ knowledge through clear consolidation techniques and technology is vital. Knowledge should focus on a given core and context of what the organization is looking to achieve and want to learn from/about. You need to explore explicit and tacit knowledge. See my recent blog on tacit knowledge:
Innovation Process platform lies at the heart of your innovation capability needs. This I have called the Innovation Business Architecture within work I completed with Jeffrey Phillips of OVO, and can be viewed here
. The process needs to have in place the capability to explore, to converge, to keep moving through the innovation pipeline, a portfolio of concepts and be able to consistently consolidate and further exploit the ‘raw’ material of these ideas and concepts, by designing in some controls and risk management. Other thoughts for thinking through the innovation process are discussed here
Moving from ad hoc to an integrated, synergistic and unique state
It is not just simply having in place the three platforms outlined above; each is a building block on top of one another, dependent for the ‘strength’ of the structure and to achieve a momentum from have ad hoc capabilities to call upon, usually scarce and over stretched, to this integrated state.
The need is to recognize that you do move, over time and dedicated effort, from ad hoc availability through a more formalised and recognized capability building process into a more broad based structure with deepening capacity to innovate. This is where the three building platforms become tightly integrated to gain a more synergistic effect for all that that participate to learn from and this growing innovation capacity provide increasing self-governance.
The need for external inputs is essential
Building the internal capabilities happens largely by the way it ‘embraces’ the world. The more you seek, the more you gain, the more you are able to see new possibilities. Seeking knowledge externally clearly comes from the encouragement of exploring networks, building relationships- accessing the external capacities through scanning, scouting and collaborating openly.
Finally market-learning capabilities feed into this cascading platform
The real strength of appropriate innovation is designing in the right tension points- see my blog
on this. “Appropriateness has to be designed in“. Set within these platforms you need to build in new (ongoing) capabilities for Co-creation orientation, Customer Knowledge Acquisition, Customer Sharing Dialogues and Information Interpretation.
This knowledge becomes your collective memory where capabilities learn and grow from these customer conversations, actively sought out and nurtured. Not only will you learn, but you have to unlearn here as well. Having a reflective market-learning outcome part built in enables new learning opportunities to be embedded and often triggering those critival behavioural changes often needed to align to market opinion and sentiment.
A short ‘call to action’ summary
I would argue strongly for this need to focus on the value of having a clear innovation capability platform structure as it has the real potential to transform the organization into a perpetual learning one, unique to your environment, and capable of lifting innovation delivery significantly. This dedication grows your capability maturity and can offer much.
If you want to find out more, keep tuned in or simply track me down. This is my passion and focus within what I like and want to do- advancing innovation capabilities and capacities for those that want to see their innovation efforts thrive.
Based from an academic paper from H E Essmann & N D du Preez advancing the view of maturity application and innovation models.