Crossing on a red light at the innovation intersection is really dangerous

How often have we left it too late, we are suddenly under pressure. We need to get to that critical meeting and we take risks, or we simply just left it too late, so we ‘run the red light’. If we get to this point we are not just the ones in danger but we more than often involve others in this stupidity, with potential serious consequences for all involved.

Care on intersections

Organizations so often leave their own futures to the last minute by failing to recognize or acknowledge they are running out of time, the situation they have been so use too for such a long time has suddenly changed. Well, for the vast majority, there was nothing “sudden” about it, they simply left it too late, ignoring all the warning signs and they decided to cross that “red light” as a last minute panic to catch up and be back in charge of their innovation destiny.

Often all organizations want to do is get back in control, revert to being comfortable, managing “as usual” but in the process have missed so much innovation opportunity in these panic moments because they did not plan for it. They just had a simple failure in not anticipating and thinking ahead, they “ran the amber”, not being alert to their surroundings and wanting to learn so as to adapt to changing conditions. Not being open and receptive to reacting and exploring, in different more flexible ways, they simply have no time to manage changing events, they are suddenly out of their comfort zone. They spin out of control and lose all traction.

Anticipation is something that always needs us being in “heighten awareness” Continue reading

Critical intervention points of innovation peer-to-peer engagement

I’ve been reading a fair amount recently about the “lack” of innovation leadership within organizations. Where there is smoke there has to be fire I suspect, but does it need to be so?

Internal leadership of innovation suffers from exactly the same critical problem that the people working on innovation suffer from, of a lack of time and opportunity to study alternatives, as all are caught up in ‘driving’ their innovation through their internal system.

This “alternative voice” is often missing and this can so easily come through external advocacy. This is unlikely to come from the innovation consultant brought in to undertake ongoing work as that is very different, this is more critical, more specialized, even strategical supporting role, involving peer-to-peer engagement.

This peer-to-peer helps  explore those critical issues relevant to you and where your organization is. Its aim is to offer a different perspective, so as to alter opinions or build new insights, that often cannot be evaluated without considerable deflection from the daily managing innovation that is taking place in often complex and challenging situations.Yet alternatives need to be considered so knowledge can evolve. Continue reading

The separation effect required for innovation

Exploit and Explore 3I have recently been in some different discussions about the merits and balances required to manage incremental and radical innovation. Partly this is in preparation for a workshop later this month but partly from a conversation, I am having with a sizable, well-respected organization, with its head office based here in Europe.

In the conversation within the organization we were discussing the breakdown in their treatment of incremental and radical and they suggested this was being managed within an “ambidextrous structure” yet I was not convinced. I have to point out this was only a part of a broader story on the difficulties of managing conflicting innovation demands that they were having.

One key constraint in their thinking I felt was not having distinct units as they were trying to manage incremental and radical through the same process and that, for me, is a basic mistake.

Continue reading

The Innovating Era: Creative Destruction or Destructive Creation?

Creative Destruction

We have been entering some perilous times recently and I can’t imagine when Joseph Schrumpeter outlined his groundbreaking efforts for explaining “creative destruction” he or anyone else, could image this being flipped around to what we are facing more today, that of “destructive creation”.

Schrumpter saw “creative destruction” as the renewing, through new innovation, society’s dynamics that would lead into higher levels of economic development and welfare. At the same time recognizing that this destroyed a few of the incumbents to the benefits of many more newcomers and increasing value creation for broader society.

Today it seems we are caught in the reverse of this- the process of “destructive creation”- where it benefits a few rather than the many. This sets out often to destroy or greatly diminish the usage value of existing products and services before it is optimal to actually do so, and in the process incurring often significant costs not taken into account at the time. These unforeseen issues have consequences that negatively affect parts of society not foreseen or contemplated at the time. Continue reading