My innovation wish for 2015

2015 Innovation WishI would like to see emerge a different ‘sustaining’ capacity built around innovation as the continuous core, constantly evolving, adapting, learning and adjusting, in perpetual innovation motion.

A truly integrated innovation solution that sits in our organization to allow innovation to be fully leveraged and exploited.

We need to recognize innovation has many touch points, a myriad of dimensions that need to be aligned and integrated. I genuinely believe we need a solution provider, who takes a more holistic view of innovation management that can make a significant advancement on where we are today, in our processes and systems.

These need a total integrated solution as the approach. this has its complexities in the challenges but we do have the potential through technology deliveries, platform constructs, using the flexibility and adaptability found in the cloud and if we combine this with our innovation management understanding, then we can to begin to construct this systematically and thoughtfully. It is very achievable and necessary for our organizations abilities to absorb and translate knowledge into innovating growth, something missing for many.

Innovation is certainly one of those in need of a real concerted effort to bring our approach to the management of innovation up to date within our enterprises, to make it more inclusive and that can I believe come far quicker through delivering it across the organization and all their partners by operating within the cloud.

An Enterprise Innovation Process (EIP) that is highly visible, agile and core to the organizations future, seen by all, used by all and truly valued by all, as integrated and highly valuable to engage with.

The formal management of innovation is not resolved today, it is a collection of pieces.

To quote these statistics from an Innovation Leadership Study in March 2012 for example:

• *Only 30% of respondents agree they have an effective organization structure for innovation.
• *45% do not have a well‐defined governance structure for innovation.
• *40% lack clear roles and responsibilities for innovation.
• *39% state they do not have an effective decision‐making process for innovation.
• * 54% of those surveyed indicate they do not have a formal KPI system for promoting innovation.
• *49% are not having a well‐defined process to prioritize and allocate time and funding to innovation projects.

If innovation management can be integrated into the organizations systems, I would suggest many of the current problems and frustrations we face today, in our innovating efforts, in barriers and issues surrounding innovation, might begin to melt away or change the existing unsatisfactory result game of today.

We need to strive towards making a more radical attempt at integrating innovation into our systems and structures. It is needed, as we need to all engage through innovation far more, to tackle growing issues and problems that are complex challenges that really need integrative thinking and connected processes.

Making the business case

Innovation management today is often standing outside any integration structure.  Some people, I am sure, would argue that it should do, yet I do often see and certainly feel innovation is often missing the critical top management line of sight and suffers accordingly. Often this is in numerous resource constraints that ate becoming a real performance drag against expectations. To resolve this and many other issues innovation needs to be more central in core process thinking and managing throughout the entire organization.

• Often Innovation runs counter to repeatable processes; it needs to leverage this ambidexterity of having access to all that makes it adaptable‐ nimble, agile, constant change, and experimentation, prototyping tailored to explore incremental innovation in faster, more flexible ways.

• Alongside this to allow for more radical innovation that taps into greater needs for mobility, usability, elasticity and yet still be aligned to leverage, exploit and maximise opportunities needs to run in parallel.

We need not just a new innovation management system; we need to build this on a modern engagement platform. As constant change happens we will need to accommodate new technologies and its realization of enterprise value will need an even greater evolution than ERP, the present backbone of organizations. We need a new outward focused orientated system that can be delivered through this suggested Enterprise Innovation Planning (EIP) system.

As outlined earlier here, to achieve this I think we must go cloud‐based, agile, and moving towards having a more ambidextrous organization design for innovation. This will help innovation to break out of the existing constraints and linear approach we have given it as its present straight jacket.

Integrating the innovation process and system is needed more today than ever.

We are in a really evolutionary period, with the explosion of change taking place in the post‐digital world of cloud, big data, social and interconnected devices. External insights and Intelligence will not become Enterprise knowledge that flows without real, deep integration.

Receiving the knowledge alone will not turn these into ‘higher scales, richer, more innovation business outcomes’ that have real growth value, unless we realize the massive ‘mismatch’ between digital flowing in and the physical attempting to cope with this.

The discovery of insights from all this embedded intelligence, social activity and data analytics is leading us to potentially manage a significant wave of new innovation opportunities from this growing digital knowledge and activity.

Insights and ideas will form a real log jam attempting to enter the innovation pipeline

As it stands I can see a potentially a damaging build‐up, or a log jam of promising concepts all desperately trying to work themselves through the innovation funnel. Either decisions or the existing disciplines have to be radically altered, where we take on a much higher risk profile to enable these to move from idea to finished product or new service, or we accept the consequences of different failures, growing frustrations or variable revenue metrics against the cost invested.

The innovation pipeline today is very manual; it will always need human intervention, in decisions, in inputs, in what is communicated, what is approved or dropped. Yet innovation often gets far too weighed down by the wrong type of human intervention.

What changes are needed, who will be willing to invest in this radical redesign of the innovation system?

It is through searching for and seeking engagement in the ‘wider’ world we will begin to make greater connects and receive potentially enormous amounts of (raw) data, about interactions, performance, possible issues and connecting those previously fragmented and dispersed information, through analytics so it can be turned this into emerging valuable knowledge.

Innovation needs a radical redesign and update to accommodate the changes occurring in the present digital evolution of mobility, social and big data.

• We will need to transform much within our systems but more importantly to orientate our skills to receive, translate and diffuse new knowledge, in significantly different ways.

• It is through this combination of people and ‘things’ connecting into our businesses that we will be able to extract new observations, to give us insights that can lead to completely different innovation opportunities.

• Market trends are changing faster and becoming shorter, so opportunity windows are narrowing. Risks of missing out are constantly increasing for those who are not focusing intently on that critical ‘time to market’ and not constantly streaming their innovation system, looking to automate it where ever they can.

Today we are still too reliant on manual systems for much within our innovation work.

What is needed is to push the thinking on how to automate the innovation process even more.

We need to think our innovation system designs a whole lot deeper to allow these new digital technologies and the insights to be worked through the innovation process. Speed is becoming ever more important, for new solutions to be turned out the other end as new innovation.

We need to design a complete innovation system otherwise we will be investing in a front loaded area alone, limiting digital impact and that will not deliver the power of actual growth expected or needed from our innovation activities so as to deliver new valuable outcomes. Approaching the innovation process holistically would certainly help instead of bolting further onto our present ways as our innovation challenges become even more complex.

Offering an Enterprise integrated solution would really offer innovation and its management a real opportunity to become fully embedded within our organizations.

Innovation gains real line of sight and across organizational engagement to move closer to its promise of delivering sustaining growth, new business and impact.

So it would be a real achievement if we saw real hard physical evidence that innovation was moving towards this integrated system in 2015, so our Enterprises can leverage all the knowledge and insights that can be harnessed into new innovation growth.

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