Let’s cut straight to the chase. To achieve the alignment of innovation to the organizations strategic goals and ambitions is so highly critical, yet we are, in so many cases, failing to meet this essential objective. We end up in that position that innovation disappoints.
We should bring together all that makes up those considerable efforts that goes into all our innovation activity. We need to work at strongly aligning all the innovation activities into the organizations goals and agenda. So how? Stay with me, I believe its valuable to your finding better innovation solutions.
To this end the Innovation Executive Work Mat was designed. I would recommend you consider this within your innovation thinking. It provides a structured framework for an organization to gather around but it is leadership driven and often this is simply missing within innovation activities.
We are in need of fresh growth through innovation
To gain growth and improvement on the existing position you need to harness innovation in sustaining ways. We need to test for our ability to manage innovation in a well-structured and thoughtful way. The leadership of organizations needs a way to provide an overarching framework, where innovation ‘works’ within.
A crucial part of this is to gain organizational alignment; we need to see if innovation is being adopted, if innovation is cascading through the organization, if the people involved are talking the same language, working towards the common goals. We need to manage and organize how the organization and its people view innovation and respond to the challenges provided from the top.
How do we harness all the necessary efforts for a positive ‘reaction’?
I’ve discussed these seven parts to a litmus test before but I’d like to give them a renewed ‘sharper’ focus here. These are testing for:
1. Translation points in value, impact and alignment – the value of the Executive Work Mat is to gain alignment, to promote value and achieve a better positive impact from innovation. We must test for this through the Work Mat framework.
2. The Leadership Commitment – how leaders chose to engage, to encourage and promote innovation activity is critical. They need to mentor, coach, listen and respond to the concerns, opportunities and offer their contribution and judgement. It is the time they commit to making this Work Mat vigorous, robust and dynamic is all important.
3. Testing for People’s involvement – In some recent research by Deloittes on what is required for successful collaboration they felt three conditions needed to be in place. These I really resonated with strongly, in where I feel any litmus test for innovation should focus upon these factors when it comes to people and their engagement with the challenges presented by the organization:
- Do they Belong: people collaborate on behalf of organizations they feel connected too.
- Do they Believe: people collaborate when they commit to carrying out specific actions
- How do they Behave: people collaborate when they share a common understanding of how things are done. It is through the Work Mat you can gain this common understanding and identification.
4. Designed-In All Necessary Aspects – the effectiveness of any innovation system is within its design, its processes and functioning. Here within the litmus test you are looking far more at establishing, generating, exploring, validating and using what is available and learning from it. It is in the care and thoughtfulness of the design and its environment and through these, its strong governance and structures.
5. Engagement, Understanding & Trust Outputs – the ability to communication, to find a growing common language of innovation is vital to sustaining success. It boils down to the relating, the responding and the respecting of this. Identification and dialogue allows innovation to flow more freely. Respect generates growing trust. Trust is vital to innovation. Knowing the context you set about your work is essential.
6. Risk & Rewards are both needed – Always the risk and fear working on innovation naturally comes up, it consciously needs to be addressed. To assess the exposure, the barriers, the balances and checks needed, the learning from success and failure needs openly exploring. The more we work on the risk and rewards and treat them both equally in discussions and evaluation, the more we encourage innovation that changes those existing paradigms and pushes for growth beyond the norm.
7. Finally, we always need Outcomes – Any effort or initiative has to have outcomes measured on its return of effort and cost involved. It is focusing on effective implementation, on execution, on gaining a ROI and on achievements you can raise the awareness and value of innovation. Outcomes become essential to drive and sustain innovation. People hunger for success, leaders also, so never forget to analysis success and its ‘transforming’ impact.
Working the litmus test
We work these seven litmus tests work through the Executive Innovation Work Mat framework in a gap analysis, in workshops, in discussions, mentoring and insights, to deliver a positive cascading result that ‘resonates’ throughout the organization.
We are looking to conduct a ‘decisively indicative test’ in the effectiveness of taking this holistic approach to innovation and through testing in these areas we can provide a good indicative litmus test of overall robustness to harness innovation activities.
Adopting the litmus test for delivering sustaining innovation
So for me, to achieve a lasting value out of the suggested Executive Work Mat you need to do these litmus tests and impact assessments to gauge the successful cascading and alignment effects. You are looking for the connection between engagement, alignment and ownership through deepening this growing identification of where innovation fits.
If you have not yet considered the Executive Work Mat then I would simply encourage you to reach out and make that first connection, knowing a positive result from the ‘effect’ can make or break your organization. We need to pull together much of our fragmented parts of innovation into a cohesive whole.
The approach taken within the Work Mat is to emphasise that to succeed in innovation you need a more holistic approach.
I’d suggest this Work Mat methodology can provide this. Interested to learn more?