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

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Your Future Lies in Occupying the Innovation Job and Using the Skills it Provides

Source: World Economic Forum, Future of Jobs Report 2018.

We all need to begin to grapple with what is redefining work in knowledge, skills, our experience, and our necessary abilities to be viable and useful

We continue to hear and begin to see the effects of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It continues to impact skills, tasks, and jobs.

The implications are a growing concern that both job displacement and talent shortages will impact business dynamism and societal cohesion. It is the pervasive power of technology integration that will change the business models of all industries.

Yet we are recognizing it will also giving rise to a number of emerging jobs yet to be identified or formulized to be trained in. A proactive and strategic effort is needed but based on what? We need to manage reskilling and upskilling to mitigate against both job losses and talent shortages but prepared the future workforce to be more nimble, agile and fluid. Here is where innovators are going to be well-positioned.

Working within the innovation space will be one of the best launching pads for being more comfortable for the future of work. Let me explain why Continue reading

Facilitating the Innovation Ecosystem Design

I do like to capture thoughts within Mind Maps. I am never sure if they work for others as the map maker does see things in his or her own way. In the end, it is seeing the other person getting it, that light bulb moment.

I have a group of Ecosystem Mind maps but I thought I’d share this one here to trigger further the thinking that needs to go into building an Innovation Ecosystem. Does it work for you? To be honest I am not sure if it conveys as much as I would like, to reflect on differences when you come to working in innovation ecosystem designs .

To get groups to think more openly about considering innovation in a more ecosystem approach to design and interaction I like to often refer to my mind maps to trigger discussions.

Sometimes it is mine, and mine alone, and I simply talk around it without showing the map, other times I show the map. The problem when you show maps, everyone works through it in their own unique way, however hard you try to get them to work through it in the way you want them too.

I have found mind maps are increasingly highly personal and it can take twice as long to explain something when you show the map to someone else. I think to put the mind map into a powerpoint “stages” it accordingly but it takes away the total map effect.

The key for me in the map shown below is to view considerations differently when you are thinking innovation ecosystems. There are your strategic considerations, there are tactical considerations and then there are value building considerations. Continue reading

I prefer the work-to-be-done for innovation.

When we are really innovating we are actually working on the Work-to-be-done, it is a far more exciting activity than constantly focusing on work done, that we need to do to refine, it, to make it more productive, efficient and effective. This work is done, certainly needs doing, no question but it is the “work-t- be-done” that gets the pulse racing. Yet both are really hard work.

The work-to-be-done is the need for our future growth and well-being to be derived from innovation activities.

These are so often made up of so many intangible parts that need exploring, investigating and discovering, the exciting parts of work. As we reveal ideas, concepts or new designs we are providing the new wealth of organizations, in the knowledge sharing economy of today and the near future. We are adding discovery. Continue reading

Valuing digitization alongside innovation

We all see around us increasing disruption caused by digitalization. The powerful effects of digitalization are opening up different business opportunities, the chance to design different business models and get far closer to the ultimate need, to understand the customers wishes from the products and services they are wanting to buy.

We are seeing a very distinctive advantage in embracing digitalization into innovation. The potential of combining digitalization and innovation insights offers significantly more potential for sustaining growth and building a greater connection into the needs of our customers.

Much of our innovation work today is caught up in out-of-date information, poor and inadequate data, restricted research and limited market understanding. Our innovation insights are badly lagging, with the effect being the solutions offered are not ‘tuned’ into the present and anticipated needs, as they often lack dynamic data. We need to digitize our innovation activities fully.

We need to ditch much of our existing innovation processes and practices, reliant on manual systems and so often trapped in silos of knowledge. Digitalizing innovation processes can potentially liberate us from ‘second-guessing’ customer needs and connect us into real-time understanding. This being ‘digitally connected’ can provide the catalyst to a greater level of innovative solutions that are far more aligned to customer and market needs.

Why does the combination of digitalization and innovation have such a transforming effect?

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Recognizing it is all about Value Creation

I am reading a lot about the concept of value creation recently, it answers everything but tells us so often nothing about how it is made up or it is truly present. It seems to have that same ‘heady vaulted position’ as innovation in that we all talk far more about the ‘promise’ of it, we want it but still are not prepared to put the real effort into it to make it happen.

So let me try and explain my thoughts on value creation. So what is behind value creation? What drives it? What will tell us this is an organization where value creation seems to well invest in, nurtured, built and protected?

So what is value creation?

Value creation is highly dynamic, it is going on all the time and can increase, decrease or transform, in different ways, when you exploit your different capitals that will be in constant change and adjusting to reflect your organization’s business activities and eventual outputs. This is when you can begin to see the value created by the use of deploying all the capitals to build new growth and what I call “stock” that along with “flow”. I loved this explaination of the two.

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Building the Coordinates into your Innovation World

Most of us are very aware that Innovation can be fairly complex in what needs to be pulled together to take an idea or concept into a finished product.. We are also aware innovation often ‘flies’ in contradiction to the normal organization’s ways and wishes, especially the emphasis on working in structured, efficient and productive ways. Innovation can often be rather chaotic and discovery driven, it often is seen as counter-productive to the orderly state our organizations wish to achieve.

Yet it is that randomness, that serendipity, that sudden discovery that needs a different way of thinking and organizing innovation. It can still be well-structured and effective but it needs the opportunity to allow in accidental discovery, by-chance conversation, fortuitous moments that just seem to happen and occur as you are “open” to them. You need to have both structure and unstructured aspects to allow innovation to happen, evolve and eventually shape towards an outcome that changes the current status quo. Innovation should always challenge and question this status quo.

One of the useful ideas of using an external resource is to put additional coordinates into your innovation world, they see contradictions in a different way. They can assist in working through the conflicting signals, so as to help align innovation in helpful and thoughtful ways. Certainly, the innovator’s role is not an easy one inside the structured world of larger business entities.

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