Opening Ourselves Up to the Innovation Mashup

Mash Up VisualSometimes some things come slower than others, and then they suddenly rear up and hit you. We don’t make all the connections we should; we are too caught up in our little world, beating our existing drum, drowned out by its own noise, to step back and appreciate something new is really happening.

Recently I was investigating one strand of thought and then bingo! Something else, leads to something else and the rest, so to speak, becomes history.

I’ve been reflecting on the new era of innovation and opening myself up to exploring alternatives, different thoughts, discussions and viewpoints. Underlying this is a growing sense of my convictions, still partly forming, malleable but trying to drive certain ‘stakes’ into the ground to keep testing and improving on a hypothesis or two; that innovation and its management definitely has to change, and fast!

Of course the cloud figures in this as a whole new different way to orchestrate innovation. More on that at another time as I need to get into some more robust discussions with one or two others on this and expand on my own position a lot more.

My recent ‘bingo’ moment was as I was listening to a round-table discussion within GE and its lighting division with a panel of outside thinkers. Beth Comstock, Senior Vice-President and Chief Marketing Officer was chairing the discussion, so it will always stay lively and stimulating and it did not disappoint on that. Her throwaway line at the end of the panel session was “Perhaps the headline here is the Big Data Mash Up”.

Mash-up?  So am I missing a certain beat here? Or does it fit into my thinking

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Taking ownership for innovation – the litmus test.

There is always a healthy debate on who “owns” innovation within any organization. Often it can boil down to where the innovation concept is along the pipeline is or who has been designated with manoeuvring or piloting the innovation through its different stages.

The reality of lasting ownership is much tougher; there are huge, often yawning gaps, in innovation accountability. The right answer should of course be everyone but making that statement on its own is a little bit of a cop-out, an easy answer to a complicated dilemma. So let me offer a connected way.

Working through the Executive Work Mat , jointly developed with our friends at Ovo Innovation , this Work Mat was designed for many reasons but principally to gain leadership engagement within all things involving innovation.  One of its overarching principles was the quest to gain alignment from the top, at board level, through its interconnected structure and their strategic inputs so as to establish and make the critical connections all the way down and throughout the organization.

What we needed also was putting in place a fairly rigorous ‘litmus test‘ to establish if this is achieving the positive reaction required and the Work Mats intent.

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