Everything is changing faster- can we respond differently in our Innovation work?

Suddenly we are stopped from traveling; we are advised to work from home to keep us safe from this coronavirus and catching it.  We have the choice of “self-imposed” or “company-imposed” time at home.

Time takes on a different meaning; we are cutting out those (unproductive) meetings, the train, car, and flight times, and we have the luxury to do what?

Well, it is offering us that luxury of actually having time to think and reflect. Now that is dangerous as it takes us off our ‘chosen’ treadmill of pursuit.

I was pondering some thoughts around the quest for growth, the demands for change, and the need to become nimble, agile, and more dynamic in what we do. We crowd out our days and never stop to reflect.

So I started to think a little more. Now that can be dangerous, and I am not too sure it gave me answers, just more questions. My starting point was the endless journey of innovation. Continue reading

Organizations suffer constantly from unhealthy Innovation tension

How often do you feel the tensions surrounding innovation?  A tough part of managing within larger organizations is in reducing the layers and competing forces, the underlying tensions that innovation (uncertainty) brings out?

Hierarchy so often dominates or dictates the speed of what we do. That is so often set in weird logic and a shrug of the shoulders.

Confronted by the need for gathering facts, innovation often struggles as much of this takes significant time and is often outside the organization’s present understanding.

It is in the pursuit of logic, and often this lacks real (hardened) facts that hold innovation back, as it runs on a very different ‘timeline’ too much of our everyday organization processes or approaches.

In this post, I aim to tackle the question of “Reducing the tension in the layers or structures for innovation.” It follows on from a recent post I wrote on “peeling away the layers of your innovation reality.”

This is a more extended read than usual, about eight to ten minutes, so be ready for that, please.

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Peeling away the layers of your innovation reality

So do we have a clear understanding of where we are in our current innovation capabilities?

We have to establish a way to map our ‘terrain of innovation reality’ is not just how we are performing but what lost opportunities have slipped through. Why well simply because we lacked the awareness to seize on these opportunities when we first spotted them.

We have significant gaps in our innovation capabilities and competencies. Have you ever really audited them? Taken them through a structured examination?

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Achieving a more dynamic innovating environment

There is a growing need for having some dynamic tensions within the organization’s innovation system; this helps generate better conditions for innovators to thrive.

We are continually learning more about all the different tools, techniques, and approaches available for innovation that will certainly help in putting the learning tensions into our work, making them more dynamic, linked, and increasingly relevant to the work-to-be-done.

We do need to embrace a more open, experimental approach to explore and then extend concepts, tools or frameworks that seem to work. I say “seem to work” as each situation often needs different paths to get the best out of any innovation work.

Yet before we jump into all the frameworks and tools that are available, let’s think about establishing the “common” environment innovation needs. Set this up, and you have the potential to create those dynamics out of your innovation activity. Continue reading

Understanding the Innovation Landscape needed for Enabling Technologies in the World’s Energy Transition

During this September to November 2019 period, I deliberately chose to have a 100% focus on the energy transition that the world is committing to as an undertaking, of reversing the rising global climate temperatures through a shift from fossil fuels to increasing commitments to renewables.

Renewables that give us greater sustainability and clean energy and dramatic reductions in carbon emissions.

I wrote twelve dedicated posts over this period, including this one, to highlight the important place innovation has within the energy transition that we are undertaking. View all the opening introductions on the “home page” and scroll down.

To have any chance to reverse these temperature rises there is an increasing emphasis on innovation solutions within the technology that is required for the Worlds energy system. Solutions are needed to shift from the world’s present reliance on fossil fuels to renewable cleaner fuels to stop the growing pollution and harmful effects of greenhouse gases (GHG) that carbon-emitting fossil fuels are causing to our planet and giving us global warming issues that are deeply worrying.

I drew down on many different resources to get my more in-depth understanding of an area that is partly passion and partly a business focus, but one resource has stood out for their detailed work on innovation and the energy sector’s needs. Continue reading

Focusing on Innovation for our Energy Transition we are all undertaking

When you are undertaking such a transformation in any system like energy, innovation becomes vital to inject new forces of dynamism and creative thinking to tackling such a change.

The energy transition that the world is undertaking is one of the most critical areas where innovation needs to be at its very best, that top of the game to make the level of change necessary.

The existing solutions found in wind and solar solutions jockeying to replace oil, gas, and coal, in our present electricity distribution, as well as our current customer solutions for managing our energy, will only take you so far in our need to change our energy systems.

If we are to meet the mandated Paris Agreement of 2015, where member states agreed to limit global warming to 2 degrees C versus pre-industrial levels by 2050, we have to look at every climate change mitigation we can find. We have to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80 to 95 percent of the 1990 level by 20150. Today the solutions are centered on decarbonization, applying digitalization, and switching to an energy system that is more decentralized than at present and it is finding imaginative, innovating solutions that become essential to achieve this climate change through the energy transition we are undertaking. Continue reading

Checking for the global pulse of innovation

As a report, the 2019 Global Innovation Index (GII) is a whopper, at 450 pages, although 50% of this is detailed economic profiles and data tables for each country within the index.

This GII report investigates and reports on 129 countries and then analyzes and ranks them accordingly.

When you are caught up in generating innovation within a business these sorts of reports can often pass you by as not so relevant to your everyday job of innovation.

I can certainly understand that but as a barometer of the health and investment going into innovation, it will eventually filter through to you and has more relevance than you first imagine.

This report is mainly for those interested in forming national policy on innovation, or judging where they are within the global race on innovation, yet it tells us all some really important points on the current health of innovation.

Yet the innovation message is for us all. If nothing else read this summary. Continue reading