“The world has never been as complex, dynamic and uncertain as it is today and the pace of change will only increase.”
We hear this consistently, our continual problem is trying to make sense of it for ourselves, we know all around us seems to constantly increase in its complexity but how are we keeping pace or at least trying too? I can’t check out of the human race just yet, can you afford too? If not then read on.
For me, I try to attempt to keep up to date by investing increasing time in acquiring a better understanding, a deeper knowledge of all the interconnected parts. As part of my job, advising others on all things swirling around innovation, I invest significant time in researching, learning and applying what I feel is important to others to understand or at least to raise their awareness.
Even if we are “time starved” we simply must try and keep moving along in this understanding and hopefully once in a while keeping ahead of the curve, or think we are!
There is one rich source of knowledge that comes from many of the larger consulting firms.
Are we entering 2016 with an innovating mind-set? We need too, so as to seize the growth that is going to be tougher to find.
As we look to enter into 2016 what is top of mind for innovation to take hold and become the real core within our business organizations? Some of my quick thoughts or repeating mantras, no apologies here:
• Innovation is not the preserve of the (selected) few but the domain of the community, it is encouraging our connections to actually connect and exchange mutual value and knowledge.
• Moving innovation from just being symbolic to essential. We must stop dipping our toe in the water, we need to just jump in and get wet. We need to get everyone involved and wanting to contribute engaged and excited on where innovation can really take us
Is Agility compatible for many working in established businesses?
“To be agile” is often a badge of honor. It conveys your flexibility, nimbleness and your ability to be adaptive. Agility is today going far beyond just being responsive,it goes into constantly adjusting and being versatile, modifying to meet rapidly changing conditions.
Yet this often seems the very opposite within many of our organizations and the very people employed within them. They seem rigid, inflexible and determined to stay ‘resolute’ to the established ways and routines built up over years. They love stability, it is their bedrock but equally they do need a greater fluidity to their performance and structures as well.
Innovation often fails to align to the strategic needs. This is often not the fault of the innovator, happily working away with no specific guidelines, apart from the general remit of “we need to be more innovative”, it lies in the boardroom that is not communicating the board’s needs clearly enough down the organization.
Building up our capacity to innovation does need to understand and reflect the organization’s business activities, as innovators need to grasp the value creation aspects that will deliver the necessary capital-efficient and profitable growth, and then ‘go in pursuit’ to achieve their contribution into these goals.
Even the basic questions often remain unclear, those of how are we looking to grow revenue, save costs, reduce working capital or improve our fixed capital? Managing our innovation activities can help in all of these. Actually if you ask I expect the CFO would say “all of them” but each does have implications on understanding of the fit and eventual role of innovation’s contribution.
You can’t escape the reality that having the right environment for innovation means different things to different people. What we should be all able to agree upon is that the environment for innovation houses many of the conditions that connect innovation in people’s minds.
The environment needs to be connected into the vision around innovation, it needs to be translated for each of us to relate too and want to contribute into..
The environment provides the right growing conditions for your organization to foster its unique environment to prosper and grow.
Deny those growing conditions and any innovation initiative is going to struggle and eventually die from the lack of the essential feeding of its roots.
The Value of the Three Horizons of Seeing Beyond
Following on from my suggested Common Language approach to the Three Horizons, I would like to outline here its significant value, within any innovation management thinking.
Clarifying our options requires multiple thinking horizons – seeing beyond for all possibilities by listening to the different voices
For me, the three horizons have great value to bring together and map all the different thinking and possible innovation options over changing horizons.
You can frame innovation in alternative ways by using this approach. Innovation has multiple evolution points and working with this framework allows you to significantly improve all of your innovation contributions.
It goes well beyond the present value of ‘just’ fitting your existing innovation portfolio and directional management into a typical one dimensional view of just working in the present.