Moving innovation even more in 2016

Innovating in the year ahead 2016Are we entering 2016 with an innovating mind-set? We need too, so as to seize the growth that is going to be tougher to find.

As we look to enter into 2016 what is top of mind for innovation to take hold and become the real core within our business organizations? Some of my quick thoughts or repeating mantras, no apologies here:

• Innovation is not the preserve of the (selected) few but the domain of the community, it is encouraging our connections to actually connect and exchange mutual value and knowledge.

• Moving innovation from just being symbolic to essential. We must stop dipping our toe in the water, we need to just jump in and get wet. We need to get everyone involved and wanting to contribute engaged and  excited on where innovation can really take us

• Recognizing innovation is traversing functions, entities and boundaries faster than ever. Find ways to get out of the way to allow it to flow where the energy goes and then ‘attempt’ to capture it for the good of all.

• Keep opening the Enterprise to external knowledge. Keep breaking down those barriers of resistance to allow this openness to further take hold, expand and contribute into your everyday thinking. Make the “network effect” really mean something in results

• Collaboration is formed at the hip with Co-creation. Making sure you are extracting your fair share of value from all these exchanges.

• Design is increasingly to the fore in many organizations. We don’t need to over work it or push it beyond its limit. We do need to blend it in and fuse it with other techniques, so to sort out where it fits within the innovation mix and valuing it for its ‘added’ worth to transform information into achieving tangible outcomes

• We need to explore, experiment, prototype, adapt, become more agile, keep it lean, pivot on new learning and anything else that helps us to speed up the process and keep learning and churning.

• The combining of great design and appropriate functionality is giving your customers what they need and feel good about, it is a powerful combination to achieve and never forget to aspire to achieve in all you offer.

• Platforms and ecosystems are emerging to manage complex innovation challenges and knowing where and how you can fit into these to extract more is essential but it is learning game for most of us to explore. Do this with a real conscious effort to leverage on its exciting promise.

• The bottom of the pyramid is a place we continue to forget and others learn to play in and master its needs. It is very relevant in today’s more cost conscious market conditions and provides the emerging understanding of what helps resolve ‘jobs-to-be-done’ and delivering to different market needs.

• The power of social innovation and linking your product to societal needs Scaling becomes important to expand this out. We need to “reconnect to dominant economic activities of the larger society”, add a ‘higher’ purpose into our innovation activity.

• Reverse innovation and its ability to be re-scaled to adapt across different markets is equally a valuable source of growth within organizations. We do need to learn from not only others on what is actually possible so a product can enter previous untapped markets but what we can do to reduce ‘’bloat and complexity’ within our own product offerings.

• We will continue to probe and search for a different organizational design, even further away from the linear process of cause and effect that has dominated much of the 20th century thinking and how we can have a ‘dual’ thinking around exploitation and exploration. Innovation design needs both.

• Of course, the raw power of technology and all things digital with all the data flowing in continues to dominate much of our thinking presently, yet it continues to need a clear focus on its use and understanding, as well as having in place the systems and analytic capabilities we need internally to process these insights and extract the value.

What ever is achieved to move the innovation needle in the year ahead, it is going to require focused leadership, a clear innovation alignment to the strategy being pursued, along with a climate and environment conducive to allow the encouragement of ideas that can be translated into new commercial or social value, valued by customers or markets as solving their problems

We all need to ‘advance’ innovations position within our collective thinking, our growth and future well-being is increasingly reliant on it to deliver solutions to even more complex problems. or improve on the existing, in more imaginative and environmentally friendly ways.

Wishing you a cracking innovating time in 2016

Adapted from a post on LinkedIn December 27th 2015.

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