Risk readiness and innovation growth – board room tension

I recently provided a post on a very ‘upbeat’ PwC report on innovation and its growing importance to growth in the coming years. The PwC report “Breakthrough innovation and growth” was a survey of 1,757 C-suite and executive respondents, on their thoughts on innovation and where the new growth was coming from in approach. The top line was companies are seeing innovation transforming their businesses and their need to take a more sophisticated approach to innovation, so as to achieve the growth plans they are setting for the next five years.

There was a strong indication that the innovation that was going to be pursued was going to follow a far more radical set of innovation practices that have the potential for offering a real impact on companies future growth ambitions.

Yet I have also been reading another report issued by Corporate Executive Board (CEB), a leading members-based advisory company called “Growth Readiness- prioritizing investments to drive executive commitment” discussing the secret to effective investment prioritization is demonstrating your organization’s readiness to pursue growth. (N.B You need to fill out the form to obtain the report)

Both correlate on the strong need for growth. CEB suggests as the global growth has stalled that in response, companies have planned to boost non-incremental growth investments by almost two-thirds. The CEB defines non-incremental investment as a large growth opportunity that requires some change to the business. Continue reading

Value realization comes through innovation and our business models.

Everything, it seems we work towards in business, is for seeking out new value creation, for new growth, for wealth creation, for providing improved returns on the investments we have been making.

To achieve this we consciously have to set about the value capture and what contributes to its realization. This is where innovation plays such a vital part. If we don’t build our innovation capital we will certainly have a much harder, perhaps even impossible time of realizing new value. We are more than likely to just maintain our existing value or see it steadily decline. So a constant focus upon renewal is always needed. Do we consciously do that on a daily basis or just once a year at annual review time?

Value-adding activities need to be central in nearly all of our decisions. The how we can turn our resources into being more productive, more creative is increasingly becoming one our biggest strategic areas of  future investment decision. Our resources are those all-inclusive assets, capabilities and processes that make up the Enterprise.

Yet it is clear management is spending far more of their discussion time and focus on the ‘harder assets’ that are made up of land, buildings, equipment and machinery – the ‘heavy’ financial capital investment decisions. Any new investment in IT, processes, software are usually well identified in the accounting or discussed within the narratives that support the reported numbers. We constantly report on these in our annual reports to validate and justify management’s decision.

Where we still seem to remain far too silent upon is our ‘softer capabilities’ Of course we extol the virtues of our employees for their hard work, for their vital role within any result, yet we still struggle to go beyond ‘simple’ articulation and quantify this value. Why is that? Continue reading

Failing to explain innovation capital

Last week I made a complete ‘hash’ of explaining innovation capital. I made a set of basic mistakes in my preparation and my delivery. I allowed for little discussion and debate and I just ‘blasted’ on regardless. I’ve been standing in the innovation ‘sins’ corner most of this week.

I can honestly say I don’t feel so good about this failure at the moment and I thought a more public ‘confession’ was in order. I will also let the ones that suffered from this also know how I feel.I made such a simple set of basic mistakes. I’m still asking myself why and have been slowly working through it to get to the bottom of my ‘aberration’ moment. Let me share some of this with you as learning from failure is as important as celebrating success.

The story could easily go……”well it was simply one of those days…to much coffee beforehand, being distracted by other issues……”  No, those should simply not happen. Somehow I forgot some basics and then some more but I’m certainly never too old to (re)learn and own up to this.

Let me explain, I was asked my opinion in a thirty minute exchange on innovation capital. It was not my finest thirty minutes. Continue reading

PwC’s report on breakthrough innovation and growth

I’ve been reading through the PwC report “Breakthrough innovation and growth”, a survey of 1,757 C-suite and executive respondents, on their thoughts on innovation. The top line news is how companies are seeing innovation transforming their businesses and their need to take a more sophisticated approach to innovation, so as to achieve the growth plans they are setting for the next five years.

PwC are suggesting there is an innovation transformation under-way: “Companies are changing the way they innovate“. They further state that “innovation is becoming a competitive necessity, if it’s not, then executives need to be asking themselves what they could do to improve their innovation process.”

All I am providing here are my initial takeaways from a report I would recommend does provide really good value in working through. It seems innovation is becoming far more the central driver of the organization’s agenda than in the past, where geographical expansion along with mergers and acquisitions were more dominating. Continue reading

Approaching innovation through fitness dynamics needs a structured approach.

This post follows on from my recent one of “the Innovation Journeyman.”  We do have a real journey still to travel to understand the dynamics within innovation. Here, I want to lay out a possible path that might advance us towards achieving this. This includes a fairly ‘intensive’ nine step approach outlined below.

The innovation fitness dynamics

The innovation fitness dynamics

What we do need to do is constantly evolve our innovation capabilities to perform in more dynamic and flexible ways. We need to acquire that consistent aim of achieving a more adaptable and adjusting approach to innovation in all its parts. We need to meet the changing circumstances and challenges  we are all facing to regain the real growth needed from our economies and organizations, making what we do at the same time, more sustainable. Delivering better innovation outcomes is central to this task.

Continue reading