Taking ownership for innovation – the litmus test.

There is always a healthy debate on who “owns” innovation within any organization. Often it can boil down to where the innovation concept is along the pipeline is or who has been designated with manoeuvring or piloting the innovation through its different stages.

The reality of lasting ownership is much tougher; there are huge, often yawning gaps, in innovation accountability. The right answer should of course be everyone but making that statement on its own is a little bit of a cop-out, an easy answer to a complicated dilemma. So let me offer a connected way.

Working through the Executive Work Mat , jointly developed with our friends at Ovo Innovation , this Work Mat was designed for many reasons but principally to gain leadership engagement within all things involving innovation.  One of its overarching principles was the quest to gain alignment from the top, at board level, through its interconnected structure and their strategic inputs so as to establish and make the critical connections all the way down and throughout the organization.

What we needed also was putting in place a fairly rigorous ‘litmus test‘ to establish if this is achieving the positive reaction required and the Work Mats intent.

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Mapping innovation across the three horizons

One of my most exciting areas within my innovation activities is applying the three horizon methodology, for working through the ‘appropriate’ lenses for different innovations and their future management. Let me outline the rationale for adopting this within your organization.

Clarifying our options requires multiple thinking horizons

For me, the three horizons have great value to map 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 innovations contribution.

It goes well beyond the present value of ‘just’ fitting your existing innovation portfolio and directional management into a one dimensional, viewed in the present, framework. You can see opportunities completely differently beyond the existing mindset and activities, it takes innovation from tactical to strategic, to foresight in your evaluations.

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A little bit of different thinking can influence your innovating future

Following on from the Innovation Futures project (www.innovation-futures.org) that I’ve been exploring recently, I would like to pick up on the way the authors clustered innovation into fourteen broad forms. They felt these offered the major trends and innovation patterns and I felt are worth high-lightening here so we can begin to think through the different innovation options we have available to us. So we can test innovations future within our own activities in a number of different ways.

The fourteen broad forms of ‘emerging’ innovation Continue reading

Fast-forward into the Innovation Future

In my last posting (http://tinyurl.com/af6vj6k) I spoke of the innovation fog surrounding me and that I was losing my orientation. This had caused me to press the ‘pause’ button so as to wait and allow the fog to lift. Then I could rely on my innovation compass a little bit more with confidence as it points again towards the future of innovation.

Well, only 24 hours later the fog was blown away and powerfully so. Do you believe in serendipity, that gift of making fortunate discoveries? Well it has certainly risen up the “I believe” scale for me. Over the last weekend I was catching up on the emails and I had one sent to me by ISPIM, a network of researchers, industrialists, consultants and public bodies, who share an interest in innovation management.

ISPIM had sent me their latest “Innovation Watch- issue 1-2013” and in this there was a timely (well clearly for me) article from Karl-Heinz Leitner, a Senior Scientist with the Austrian Institute of Technology, entitled  Innovation Futures: How Will We Innovate in the Future? Continue reading

The fog surrounding innovation

I’ve been in a little bit of an innovation fog recently, I’m possibly losing orientation. I hear so much sound around me but it is becoming disorientating, I’m not sure where to tread.  Am I heading in the right direction, or going off on a tangent, away from much that is “the place to be”.

The more I read, the less I understand, yet the more I read, the greater my awareness of innovation and all the mountains we have still to climb. It is a never-ending journey it seems, yet I’ve found I have pressed the pause button. I need some time to allow the fog to lift but can I afford too?

There is this increasing intensity of innovation wisdom being produced daily, you can just get utterly and totally all-absorbed in all the nuances, all that advice. So much that is written is offering the ways forward on past approaches, highlighting where we are going wrong on past experiences, and in some cases providing the “cure all” simply all within one article based on their narrow view of the solution, set in a specific context. It can bring you to a stand-still but much more than this, it can all be highly dangerous. Continue reading