Are you having fun riding the innovation waves?

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Three years back I took a view on what to focus upon in my innovation activities to meet client needs, they did seem to make sense at the time.

In many ways, I was fairly happy with the outcome, as many of the places I would put my required but limited resources behind, in providing a depth of understanding, were highly relevant, topical and needed, so were good spaces to offer my thinking, advice and solutions into.

Fast forward these last few years and I often wonder where that focus has actually gone – the focus has been a little ‘bounced’ around but for good reason, I feel, yet, it needs a fresh re-calibrating on my approaches going forward.

Innovation has been rapidly changing and much of its basics have been swallowed up by some defining issues that have raced up to the top of the innovation agenda and it is right to respond to these.

‘Breaking’ practices or new methodologies are much harder to master and advise upon, to determine clear positions and propositions. Continue reading

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investment that has gone into previous innovation processes to get them established but much of this is actually out of date, it has become today a real ‘legacy’ issue but there is, of course, a real reluctance to challenge it.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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The role Human Resources can play in Innovation and its needed Design

HR No innovation designThe management of human resource (HRM) needs to be replaced with the management of human creativity and ingenuity, as this is the triggering point to innovation success and delivering longer-term sustaining success.

The critical role of innovation is without question needed for the future growth, wealth creation and organisations potential survival.

Who is to drive the human change required here within our business organisations?

I believe within our human resource groups they must provide the people solution to building innovation capacity, they should contribute to providing lasting design impact and central engagement role in building innovation into the core fabric of the organisation. They become central to helping deliver, distinctive, radical, even game-changing innovation and that needs clear, distinct capabilities, capacities and competencies to be design into and innovation management system.

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Future Innovation demands a different approach

Innovation requires a fresh approachI certainly believe we are in need of a fresh approach to innovation. We are facing unprecedented challenges, sluggish growth and increasing competition from unexpected sources.

We need to increasingly deliver better end results; as more distinctive, bolder and creative, delivering greater value to our customers’ needs. Can we change our thinking to achieve this?

Let me offer some of my thoughts on why we need to reinvent our innovation management.

The power of technology, software and the use of the cloud is combining in new powerful ways. We are looking for greater data capture and analytics and this is offering us a very different set of options than in the past. The framing of the innovation potential has to be altered. Altered in different products. services and business models. But will it?

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I keep arguing we all need to seek out innovation alignment

Innovation needsAll too often strategy is not influencing the behaviours and outcomes around innovation, it is simply allowing them to be left to chance.

Innovation is being ‘pushed down’ the organisation for others to interpret and offer their answers. They execute to their own understanding and often the innovations end up as not strategically aligned.

That is plainly wrong, not knowing the strategic objectives it is one of the principle causes of innovation failure and requires fixing.

This poor strategic understanding creates a lack of alignment and directing innovation. If an organisation lacks top leadership engagement it becomes, for many, the reason why they seem to just simply ‘limp’ along in their innovation activity, delivering ‘simply’ incremental outcomes. The more radical innovations can never emerge if these do not have the close alignment to the Corporate vision or objectives and leadership engagement..

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Applying innovation thinking in different horizons

Forming a common view of 3HIn the past few days, I have had some exchanges on twitter with Jairo H Venegas and Ralph-Christian Ohr on different thinking around the three horizon methodology. We share similar views on its value and partly how it can be applied.

Ralph and I exchange constantly and occasionally meet up together. Actually, we need another meeting Ralph to catch up and explore these mutual innovation value points.

Ralph in a reply to Jairo suggested this: “That’s why a portfolio approach is so important” – with his take here: bit.ly/1Rn5Svq  under his excellent Model for Integrative Innovation article.He ‘talks’ of cornerstones and offers different premises to anchor these a little more. Continue reading

Coaching helps overcome the ten innovation intractables

10 intractable innovation challengesA Question:
If you could ask those that lead innovation, your senior organizational leadership, a series of questions that might help unlock innovation blockages, now would that be valuable?

Getting to a root cause of innovation blockage
So what does block innovation? Arguably there are plenty of things up and down organizations: a lack of resources, an overcrowded portfolio of ideas, a lack of dedicated people, treating innovation as one-off, keeping it isolated and apart from mainstream activities.

The list could go on and on, no question but to seek out a meaningful exchange of minds let me offer these outlined below as ones to tackle. Get a discussion going on all of these needs ‘being selective’, raised at separate times and then integrated into a collective ‘declaration of innovation intent’ going forward.

Let’s take a different perspective.

If you could ask a series of question that might help unlock innovation blockages it would make such a difference to our innovation performance and engagement. I think this might need a good external facilitator as my recommendation, one who has deep innovation knowledge and expertise, able to manage the ‘dynamics’ within the room.

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