Renewal- this seems to be really an important issue we all need to think about today; in society, in our organizations, in our institutions. Renewal of what we already have does can give us further opportunity to improve on it for what we know that works, what we think is right, what we value and what we just simply need to enhance.
We don’t always need to just throw away what we have and simply replace it with something completely new. This has its real adoption problems, it takes time and often a lot of money. Sometimes is just does not make sense to simply abandon, when recognition and adjustment would simply really do. Knowing what is good and with that clarity of what needs to be changed is often a better route to take.
We should look at what you have, in our current portfolio of products, services, guidelines & policies and see if they can be ‘freshened up’. In today’s difficult times exploring renewal is very worthwhile. Offering change constantly is very disturbing, improving, if we can, on what we already have is not, it is cheaper and often far more effective.
A more structured and systematic approach though, should be taken
I would recommend for building a renewal programme that you can work through a step-by-step approach, enabling clarity and understanding as you go; so everyone involved can see the problems, challenges and then actively contribute to the solutions. This should be our goals always in renewal programmes, inclusion, be these to address societal or business challenges.
What this step-by-step programme does call for, is a very structured, comprehensive investigative approach across the organization. firstly to build the momentum for recognizing what a sense of renewal can bring as important for the future, and then secondly, seeing an emerging clarity for this future built upon a sustaining innovative culture that all contribute and become involved in.
Making the first critical steps
Firstly you have to start out with why you feel is in need of a freshening up, of challenging, and form an opinion of what should be required, should this be radical, distinctive or incremental?
What do you actually want to achieve that takes you closer to your aspirations, to resolve some specific problems? This is not just immediate goals of simply continuity by providing ongoing value but adding that ‘refreshing’ aspect into your growth objectives to extract more?
We should question many of the ‘established’ approaches and challenge them with fresher, more up-to-date thinking based on current data, innovation thinking around economic need and the ability to provide improved value.
A handy 12 critical step process to work through
I feel this can provide a useful diagnostic structured framework for equipping yourself for working through a renewing programme:
- Assessments that firstly evaluate your present position. Build this not only on simply internal observation but on external evaluations. Separate the opinions and the facts, highlight potential weaknesses, and investigate the culture needed for renewal to be integrated into your innovation process.
- Next, benchmark quickly your competitors, your peers. Also search quickly across other activities that are normally out of your ‘existing line of sight’ for different insights. These investigations begin to build the momentum for ‘why’ change, ‘what’ justifies rethinking and ‘how’ others have seen shifts to adapt and respond in more relevant and interesting ways to todays tougher environment.
- Seek out those pockets of resistance internally and externally. Often these are constantly just below the surface or even can be quite deep seated that undermine, block or resist the re-visiting of past products, processes, policies or services as they have vested interest in keeping the ‘status quo’ in place. Address the critical issues through a change resistance grid and resolve the obstacles through a variety of exploritory methods and techniques used in often ‘classic’ change programmes, to draw out resistence and gain increased recognition that this need for review, leading to renewal, makes real sense.
- Making a battery of tests to assess the readiness for change. Turn blockage into ‘seeing’ opportunities. Build the resilience and capability understanding so as when you make change you are better equipped. Make an evaluation of where innovation has contributed to your performance in the past and where you can extend this further through a strategic renewal approach. Talk about this broadly as a team. Make this an ‘ongoing’ build from constant learning.
- Approach solutions with a greater understanding of the different people style options. Seek out that diversity, look for those traits of leadership and really draw in that fresh and different dimensions that might have been trampled on in the past, to improve your thinking and extend all the potential options. Look to break down possible blockages and past resentments by recognizing and adopting different techniques for different people, seek inclusion whereever you can. One size certainly does not fit all and respecting all the diversity across the organization, within your customers, those lapsed ones and those that have never engaged, will add such a ‘zest’ within any refreshing, re-evaluating exercise, to build a richer portfolio of renewing options.
- Apply the learning techniques of facilitation to mobilize latent energy. Provide encouragement, revitalize and respond to the multiple layers of potential to contribute, within your organization. Spend the appropriate amount of time in building this into the renewable actions you are needing to take for changing the environment and climate for innovation you have today to thrive even more.
- Focus upon the critical aspects of your offering that are core. You can begin by assessesing, realigning, restructuring and redeploying around the three critical aspects of your core offering through clear innovation thinking : 1) making the ultimate customer the centre of your thinking 2) addressing your products and service quality and offerings at the new innovation speed expected, 3) build increasing agility, flexibility and anticipation into what you want to offer to meet the new constantly changing market or societal needs. Make these central to your new thinking as you work through opportunity areas for renewal.
- Managing innovation change needs a clear, dedicated focus in clarifying plans, thinking through new systems and practices. You need to commit to more training and constant support, providing feedback, managing the inherent stress this any renewing still has and can cause by placing the building blocks of commitment and shared identification as central to this effort.
- Knowing where the levers are to revitalize innovation requires a range of techniques and dedicated innovation champions to clarify objectives and to provide guidance and authentic authority- listen to them. It is through these dedicated champions of innovation change that you begin to organise around, involve them in any decisions, work with them to communicate new policy or shifts in strategic position to integrate these across the organization.
- Innovation regeneration needs setting new visions, new directions and goals . You need to construct the appropriate action plans, track results, update and re-adjust from fresh knowledge and learning so these begin to restore a growing sense of identity and corporate value. Construct a clear set of communication plans to cascade these changes throughout the organization. Let everyone feel, hear and see the changes and identify with your ‘sense of renewal’.
- Provide clear solutions that define the structure, systems and processes. Don’t duck them. Invest in the design considerations with care and forethought. Plan any cultural or structural shifts so as to provide the learning platforms for the potential you will be needing in investing in new competencies and skills that place a premium on what needs to be adapted. Invest in growing your networks that inform, promote and identify the emerging vision of why we need to do things differently.
- Place innovation at the heart of any regenerating process. Exploring new growth opportunities that have been discovered needs to be structured back into the process. It needs equally a constant checking of alignment of renewed innovation back into the organizations strateg to be thoughtfully aligned across all activities. This alignment is a C-board imperative, otherwise nothing really changes as you don’t want to simply achieved a simple ‘lick’ of innovation paint to an extremley valuable area of (re) growing your business.
Renewal through innovating often needs to take away redundancy also.
The need for making the case for renewal and charting the path towards the solutions is no different than any other corporate initiative. Making the commitment and getting others to sign on is sometimes hard, but essential. Seeking out places of ‘duplication’ and latent redundancy is also necessary to build into any renewal programmes.
It takes a real innovation spirit to renew, thinking this through in different new ways. Focusing on renewal offers much. Don’t just rip-up or simply dispose of what we have, think through what renewing can give us in improved solutions, often at much lower cost and customer acceptance.