Dealing with the innovation legacy lying within your business.

Dealing with LegacyI know the feeling, there has been such a considerable investment that has gone into previous innovation processes to get them established but much of this is actually out of date, it has become today a real ‘legacy’ issue but there is, of course, a real reluctance to challenge it. Well you should!

Often this reluctance to dispose of these old systems, processes and inadequate frameworks is holding innovation back.

I would argue that perhaps many of our current innovation practices are ‘frozen’ in past times and they significantly slow us down, in a world that is becoming one built increasing on speed, flexibility and adaptability.

We lose precious time as we should be forward looking. constantly learning and experimenting with new concepts and approaches to innovation and what and where these can bring in new growth, sustainability and value to our organisations.

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Shining a powerful innovation light into the Corporate Boardrooms

Strategy Palette Used for Innovation RenewalSo after a fairly ‘dark’ period for me, of absorbing and reflecting on a series of reports, each indicating that innovation and its management understanding is not as deeply understood in the boardroom as it should be, you need to respond.

This seems an appropriate time to begin to rethink and explain innovation, partly in this need to fight these “immune systems” in fresh ways and partly to redrawn, re-frame and renew the value of innovation; in how it can help organizations going forward in very volatile times.

So let’s shine some light on new ways or even recognized paths for innovation to re-enter the thinking within our corporate boardrooms, in different ways that might resonate more in these more ‘dynamic’ times.

I like this organizing framework shown above, it can  allow us to gain a revised understanding of how innovation can be mobilized in different ways, to give value in dealing with these different forces to help move you towards a growing level of renewal.

So I want to begin a series of posts around positioning innovation frameworks, tools or approaches that build the boardroom “innovation toolkit” to deal in both the predictive and unpredictive environments. The suggestions that will be offered are designed to help tackle the disruptive forces swirling around the business that are rising, increasing the uncertainties to future invest. It is attempting to address the concerns on how to organize the “forces of innovation” to combat them, to raise the confidence level in the boardroom to ’embrace’ innovation far more than seemingly the case today. Continue reading

Closing the innovation leadership gap

Closing the Innovation Leadership GapWe cannot get away from the reality that in most of our organizations we have a disconnect going on around innovation.

Research shows a lack of engagement around innovation by non-managers, also there are claims through studies that 7 out of 10 of employees do not understand how they can make a worthwhile contribution.

The cynicism around innovation has turned it into nothing more than a buzzword for many, not taken with the seriousness that it really deserves for sustaining growth within organizations and achieving broader engagement to make this happen.

Innovation is treated as more the opportunity taken when it fits and works, often toned down when it does not. There is often a total lack of sustaining strategic commitment to innovation.It is just not integrated into the core of the organization.

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Warm and Fuzzy at the Front End of Innovation

Warm and fuzzy inside

Perhaps I have fallen into the very trap I have campaigned about in the past, in recognizing and resolving the disappointing results we achieve from all the work we put into the front end of innovation. The “warm and fuzzy” front end of innovation can make us all a little grumpy.

Let me explain. I recently wrote out a newsletter – termed a thought or two – to my innovation network. This network is split between the advisers and consultants delivering into clients and the clients themselves, that I have a connections into that have built over the years. These are mostly through knowing them, working with them, exchanging or simply connecting in LinkedIn. The subject was the changes occurring at the front end of innovation.

My argument was the results we have obtained from a disconnected set of front end activities was poorer than they should be, and this needs changing. I feel there is a real shift potential happening today through connecting technology and connected solutions to ‘transform’ this front end. My feeling is the front end is often “warm and fuzzy” and it needs to be radically redesigned. I wrote about “hearing all the voices of ideas at the front end and the “two distinct parts of the innovation funnel” building from my original post “the new extended innovation funnel“, written in 2011.

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GE and its Global Innovation Barometer 2016

 GE Innovation Barometer 2016I always look particularly forward to this report as it provides a range of insights that are shaping our world and how innovation is adapting and altering this.

Now the report in its fifth edition, it is now spanning 23 countries where the opinions of senior innovation executives or the equivalent are sought out, covering 2,748 executives, with 1,915 being in the C-Suite.

This year the barometer decided to explore the perceptions of the (informed) public for their thoughts on innovation’s growing impact and in particular, the future of work and they interviewed 1,346 to gain some useful insights and pointers that separate business and the citizen in their understandings.

The report covers a significant amount of areas across innovation. Here I wanted to pull out just a couple that initially caught my eye. I might add to this in further posts.

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Sorting through our Innovation Management Tools

We all are caught up in handling and understanding different management tools. The numbers are accelerating, and if anything it’s adding more confusion to the pile we already have. So let’s see if we can help here, step back a little from your favorite tool and look at this just a little more deeply.

How do we pick through all the tools, let alone keep up with all the new ones emerging?

There are management tools that have become ‘enshrined’ in organizations and many of the executives become settled on the ones they have bothered to learn or seemingly do the job. Continue reading

Striving for the innovation balance: between exploring and exploiting.

Innovation Exploit and Explore to TransformWe never seem capable of adapting as well as we should do. Adapting always seems a work-in-progress, or it is often something where we are simply making little or no progress!

We often stay ‘stuck’ in the way we do ‘things’ around here, never seemingly able to break out into something new or different.

To adapt we need to open ourselves up to learning and adjusting our organizational ‘form’ in new ways.

In business there should be a constant battle to reconfigure the assets and extend the existing capabilities. Yet often these stay ‘static’ not learning or improving.  In our innovation activities there is an even greater pressing need to build into our thinking the ability to find more dynamic capabilities. It is a constant innovator’s dilemma to think through and get right.

What might help? Continue reading