A pathway to building more dynamic innovation capabilities

To build a pathway to enabling more dynamic innovation capabilities needs to go through Nine Stages. These nine stages are, in my opinion, needed for developing an understanding of your innovation capabilities, so as to make them more dynamic and, as a result, to be at the top of your innovation game.

This “step process,” I believe, gets you to the point of understanding what innovation capabilities are a better ‘fit’ for the purpose, to deliver on your innovation needs on a consistent, repeatable, and evolving basis.

Building innovation capabilities take time; they are complex, highly structured, and multi-dimensional. Any structured approach to tackling innovation takes time and considerable commitment. Any learning involves sensing, seizing, and then transforming.

We are searching for what makes up the present system and what needs to be part of the future to create a ‘best’ innovation capability environment that is sustainable in the longer-term. Those that can be continually ‘orchestrated’ and constantly adapted to meet the strategic need. Continue reading

Innovation needs the power of completing the 4th Industrial Revolution

We first need to recognize that there are twin forces at work, feeding off each other. We are facing greater disruption and an increasing innovation pace.

These twin forces are constantly seeking out for combining, relentlessly adding the new shape to our future. We are caught up in a very revolutionary period. The prospect of new innovation potential will eventually work through into the world of Industry 4.0 as a major game-changer “.

Innovation is ready for those accelerating and being fully committed to their 4IR journey. Then innovation can finally play its true part in discovering, leveraging and delivering new value and impact.

We have to recognize the days of simple product innovation are dwindling. where technology, digital solutions, greater customer insights, where a new breed of designers, engineers, scientists, and software talent are combining built through a platform and new innovation ecosystems thinking, are all emerging. Continue reading

Energy technology needs more rapid innovation cycles

I have been consuming the latest flagship report, released today, 10th September 2020, by the IEA called “Energy Technology Perspectives 2020

The report’s comprehensive analysis maps out the technologies needed to tackle emissions in all parts of the energy sector, including areas where technological progress is still lacking such as long-distance transport and heavy industries.

It shows the amount of emissions reductions that are required from electrification, hydrogen, bioenergy and carbon capture, utilization, and storage. It also provides an assessment of emissions from existing infrastructure and what can be done to address them.

Within the work going into this report, the IEA has identified over 800 technology options that need to be further examined, explored, validated, and accelerated for the World to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. That is an awful lot of innovation to get us to a clean energy transition from where we are today.

Continue reading

Forget Best Practice, Think Always Of Learning Next Practice

Often you hear the request made: “Can you give us a best practice snapshot; we would like to get a sense of where we are”.

The trouble with best practice is you are looking at someone else’s practices and these are highly individual, made up of different groups of methodologies, processes, rules, theories, values, and concepts. These together have provided that specific company a level of success that others – mostly competitors – begin to notice.

There is no such thing as what they have it, you need to copy and have the same.

We all get caught up in best practices, you can’t simply pick up and plug and play, as one organization’s initiative is never the same set of conditions or positioning that others can simply copy.

We desire the “one-size fits all” as a comfort blanket, it makes our innovation lives easier. Many consultants love this request, as they do not need to apply the real skills of discernment, subject matter expertise, and the difficult challenge of peeling away a client’s practice to understand how they can rebuild them to become unique, into a leading practice that cannot be copied.

Continue reading

Innovation has the power to unlock the Energy Transition

The energy shifts undergoing in the energy transitions today are allowing real innovation opportunities when you survey the innovation landscape.

There is complexity in all the energy transitions going on. Still, it is the ones that can see the possibilities and ‘energize’ through new innovative solutions that hold the future in our hands to capitalize upon as fast as we can..

All we can predict is that the pace of innovation and energy transition will speed and then scale up to meet the needs of a world rapidly wanting to decarbonize, and the companies that are the investors in innovation will be the best placed to capitalize on this.

During the next ten to twenty years, we are in a race to transform our energy systems, one that moves from fossil fuel reliant to clean fuels based on renewable energy. Innovation is the catalyst for this. Continue reading

Sharply accelerating clean energy innovation

Today the International Energy Agency (IRA) released a long-awaited update on where innovation needs to be in the energy transition we are undergoing.

At their own admission, it has been three years since they (IEA) released its last Energy Technology Perspective (ETP) report. Although they argue they have been reflecting on the critical technology challenges, it is way overdue.

In this new report, “Energy Technology perspective: Special Report on Clean Energy Innovation” released today, 2nd July 2020, they have developed some improved modeling tools to bring a higher capacity to answer key technology questions in greater detail. This is good news.

IEA will further follow up later this year with a flagship ETP 2020 publication later in the year to keep a tighter and more consistent focus on the role and need of innovation to accelerate clean energy transitions.

They, the IEA are planning an IEA Clean Energy Transitions Summit really soon to convene ministers and CEO’s to the aim of driving economic development by this more robust focus on clean, resilient, and inclusive energy systems. Continue reading

Solutions for Energy do need to be end-to-end and highly innovative

It is not just replacing energy sources; it is all about solution renewal end-to-end and that needs innovation
Within the energy transition, we must not lose sight of the final consumer. The final consumer of energy is going to be the ultimate arbitrator.

As we focus on the broader aspects of “energy transition” by re-engineering much of the existing infrastructure to create smart grids, provide storage, solar for individual homes, and the ability to introduce e-mobility across the transport sector we must keep the consumer always in mind. Is the alternative, those new solution more attractive?

As we seek to make a change in any energy supply or solution, we need to continually ask those basic questions innovators should always do. Has what we are offering greater utility and flexibility? Is the alternative more connected, more informative, and helpful? Does it provide better value than the existing solution? Simply, what is in it for me?

These are the connecting points to the end-user. They “feel” the value of the energy transition in benefit; in energy security, increased choices, and greater involvement in handling their own energy costs and local energy design choices, they see the “effect of change.”

The nature of the energy landscape will require the transformation of businesses, the push to find and develop new market dynamics and embrace government policy and regulations in an orderly and planned way. Still, above all, it needs to offer value, appeals, and that “compelling” reason to make a change.

Continue reading

Exploring the Energy Transition Fitness Landscapes – opening thoughts on Hydrogen

I am have been struggling with the Hydrogen Story. It is tough to relate to something where the realization may take 40 years to move from ambition to achievement. I get it that delivering Hydrogen is the vital piece of the decarbonizing of the world by 2050, yet it does seem a long, hard road to travel.

Hydrogen is undoubtedly becoming the big agenda ticket within any Energy Transition. It is the promise of being a central pillar for many parts of the world to achieve their targets of zero carbon by mid-century.

Hydrogen seems to holds, it seems, such a promise, but it is nearly all to do. There is so much to validate, prove, and certainly scale. We have some exciting pilots, even some full commercial-scale projects. Still, these are not connected up as we do not yet have a Hydrogen infrastructure, market, or overarching policies to build into a movement that shifts the energy needle. Lots of desire and willingness, but we do need to really make “hydrogen happen.”

I needed to step back and reframe my thinking on Hydrogen and also to help me understand the bigger “beast” of the Energy Transition. There was so much “hype” and future promise I was not getting a real sense of order.

So I sort of came to a screeching halt on researching further. I needed to get back into my ‘comfort’ zone of evaluating all the hype. So I wanted to go back to a comfortable place to ground my thinking. I have been wondering, have we the right focus to this? Are we often missing the real context of the need for the energy transition? Are we building the capabilities, competencies, and capacity to scale Hydrogen? In my view, we lack a specific focus. Opinions are varied, diverse, and in many cases, merely opportunistic. We need to a different level of strategic fitness

Applying Fitness Landscapes to the Energy Transition. Here in this post, I want to briefly introduce some thinking around navigating a complex landscape that the Energy Transition demands. I have taken Hydrogen as my opening exploration to traverse this landscape. Continue reading