Lining up the fundamentals in leadership and innovation

A week can feel like a long time, actually this present week has got condensed from six months of investigating, exploring and debating but even now it is only the beginning, that public ‘coming out’ of a new framework for innovation. It is what happens after this first exposure, that we will this find its value and contribution and that does depends on a lot of factors, mostly in other people’s hands. Those that will recognize a clear value to help them and their organizations should welcome this, we hope.

So what am I talking about?

The development of an emerging framework, which we call the Executive Innovation Work Mat, is where we are suggesting, lies the responsibility of the CEO or senior executive, to construct and enact. Executives need to fill a leadership gap found in innovation, and define a robust innovation framework.  They can deliver the missing innovation alignment part by engaging and providing this leadership required in innovation that is often missing. What these contain are outlined in our framework that we have exposed this week in a series of seven blogs. Just click on the link above for the foundation article.

There is a movement detected in the innovation air!

We are seeing that innovation is becoming a more vital part of organizations ability to manage their future. There is an emerging formalized need for innovation within organizations but its whole structure, the innovation ecosystem or whatever name you want to call it, is today being simply left to chance. Its construct is not pieced together in the best coherent way to build a culture for sustaining innovation. Innovation lacks people who are specifically accountable, it gets built-in often ad-hoc, piecemeal fashion. It leaves many involved in the process frustrated with the amount of effort innovation needs and the lack of results that have not delivered that necessary impact and performance-effect often promised and so desired, to break from the competitive pack.

We are failing to build and nurture this ‘innovation ecosystem’; we are not formulating and communicating where innovation links into strategy, it stays inarticulate and poorly communicated, it is left to others to interpret with a hope it fits somehow. Because there is often lack of internal clarity, there is also a poor connection to the external environment where opportunities are never recognized for their value. Equally where the customer remains dissatisfied with the present offering as one not meeting their explicit needs and where they often have to continue to compromise waiting.

While we continue to lack this explicit innovation structure or only recognize parts of it, it does have both short and long-term implications to the business. Businesses gets locked into set pathways; they tread the simple incremental path, for fear of stepping off it, is stepping into the unknown, just a foreign, really alien place where fear and failure lurk behind every tree. Each sound carries warning and cries out danger. We believe clearing a new pathway leads to better innovation

Closing the disconnect on innovation

There is such a disconnect going on. The organization ‘demands’ innovation, the leadership presents innovation at every opportunity, often more as a fig leaf for the embarrassment that eventually arrives, as innovation into the market place. We need to set up a real connection between rhetoric and having in place real innovation infrastructures that work and are fully supported from the top. The leader is the source or energy point to make that happen, no one else. It cannot be simply delegated away. Whoever wants a leader that simply delegates growth, new wealth creation and your future to others?

There are certain correlations between leaders who are immersed in innovation and their organizations superior performance. This has been spoken off as one of the principle reasons why certain organizations have an innovation premium in the minds of customers, shareholders, investors and the community at large.

This week we offer a framework, the Executive Innovation Work Mat, that offers a real way to bring innovation as a topic to the highest level of the organization through its organizing mechanism of the seven essential domains for their engagement.

These efforts rely on mutual recognition that this leadership gap does exist and that it needs narrowing. It is for the leaders to construct the alignment points of the innovation efforts that deliver on the strategy and vision the leadership seeks.

We ask, Jeffrey Phillips and I, that you share our thinking and deliver this White Paper into the boardrooms of your organizations. Be those champions and advocates to place innovation in the spotlight, demanding it has to be changed. Within this spotlight the aim is one that seeks to improve the organizations ability to achieve more than it offers today from its innovation activity, because its leadership is engaged and inextricably connected. If we can accomplish that growing recognition, we can then go deeper into a specific set of dialogues that ‘fits’ with your organizations innovation aspirations. We stand ready for that set of challenges.

We start by talking about the issues and this is what this week has been all about. Talking and explaining this need for leadership engagement within this framework, first to the innovation community and equally across Jeffreys and my own networks, so as to gain a recognition and we trust a certain traction from this that we believe is valuable to achieve .

Will you become engaged in this?

10 thoughts on “Lining up the fundamentals in leadership and innovation

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