Dynamics within the system are always dominated by the slow components.

The worrying thing is within any dynamics within the system they are dominated by the slow components, and the rapid components simply have to follow along.  Look at how larger organizations operate when they are discovering and learning. It seems to take for ever.

They will often wait while one part of the organization is reluctant to make a decision, even when their part of the ‘collective’ decision is not one that has real implications, it is that ‘they’ expect to be within the decision loop and will undermine any deicsion they were not partly too. So many ‘breaking opportunities’ get caught out in the lack of dynamics or that real energy and purpose to decide. It goes into a perpetual loop.The opportunity becomes a struggle to execute upon.

“Slow constrains quick, slow controls quick”.

The only way to ensure speeding up is to be more coherent on the purpose, clarify the bounds and governing principles that need to be enacted and expect delivery on a clear, set timing. If one part simply ‘sits and waits’ what chance do you have of injecting something that might have a real impact, it gets reduced down, it gets pushed back, to a point where an original idea is unrecognizable when it finally emerges. 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

Do you know your innovation fitness?

We seem to be facing a more Darwinian World. I’d suggest that today innovation is caught up in the survival race, where the bolder ones are more innovation fit and pulling further ahead.

We need many more organizations to get out of this survival trap and exploiting innovation in bolder ways, become fitter in their innovating purpose.

The harsh reality is this is becoming a very crowded, increasing uncomfortable place to be, as we reduce our capabilities to take a risk, too invest, to make those decisions that create more radical innovation.

If we don’t offer value creation, we become increasingly unattractive and not regarded as essential but simply become disposable, pushed aside by others, more nimble, aware, and innovative.

The more we play ‘safe’, the more we run the risk of being disrupted. We are failing to leverage much of the liberating power within innovation. Is our business world today is it so predictable?  No, it is well and truly ‘dynamic’ and evolving, and we have to respond to it in faster, more bolder ways. Continue reading

Recognizing an innovation need

Increasingly I am noticing that Organizations are facing the increasing dilemma of how to organize and manage within their present systems and structures their innovation activities.

Innovation is becoming far too complex for the innovation process installed within the (one) organization. It is far too self-contained and not open to the collaborative environment we need today, where others outside the one organization can freely exchange and collaborate on the same platform.

I have argued for some time we do not have an “innovation fit-for-purpose” system, we still are focusing far too much on having separate solutions for the front end (IP discovery), then idea generation, and then keep separately the pipeline and portfolio management. We are still randomly applying a range of tools that individuals have collected for themselves to complete their part of the job and the outputs can’t be shared. We continue to exchange across different social channels, often seen as a necessary evil to be bridged, as often systems do not “speak” to each other.

We fail to connect up all of our innovation process and design. When will we have a fully integrated, end-to-end innovation system? Some software solution providers seem to be working towards it but tend to keep adding pieces and not stepping back and designing a fully integrated process. Why? We are managing innovation at often very sub-optimal levels of effectiveness. 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