The Energy Transition Needs A Structured Innovation Process

All of us are at present, caught up in the terrible spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). It is hard to think about other things when such societal and economic impact is hitting each of us every day.

In this period of such disruption, we do need to hang onto our beliefs, objectives, and goals, both short and long term. We are at a real point where we will be reshaping our economies, it is unlikely we will return to the ‘old’ normal.

Although we feel trapped in the present, worried over daily events and what they might mean, we must look beyond, we do need to look towards the future, to recognize there are challenges ahead but equally opportunities.

There is undoubtedly a time to find ways to come together. In recent years communities have become more polarized in their opinions, political positions, and choosing what to believe it. It is getting hard as truth is getting “blurred” more with this, often in such conflicting news.

A fact none of us can ignore is the planet, our world is undergoing significant change, and this is so much human-made. We can’t seemingly escape from daily occurrences of floods, famine, disease, and fires.

So far, 2020 has been a terrible year, the bushfires of Australia, the floods across many countries, the lack of rain, and the general “stirring” of mother nature. It seems mother nature is fighting back; it wants to bring the planet back into a balance.

One of our most significant challenges is to stabilize global mean temperatures. Continue reading

Seeking out knowledge that feeds our innovations

Knowledge and learning 3The more we embrace change and recognize innovation demands more of our time, the more we must seek out knowledge that ‘feeds’ innovation. And the more we ‘push’ for learning, the greater chance we have of thriving in a challenging world.

The expectation ‘bar’ needs to be raised from those practicing innovation, I feel the constant need is for those working within innovation; they have this real need to raise their game significantly. Innovation needs organizing but it also needs a better understanding of its contributing parts.

Learning and Education should always start with us. Continue reading

Everything is changing faster- can we respond differently in our Innovation work?

Suddenly we are stopped from traveling; we are advised to work from home to keep us safe from this coronavirus and catching it.  We have the choice of “self-imposed” or “company-imposed” time at home.

Time takes on a different meaning; we are cutting out those (unproductive) meetings, the train, car, and flight times, and we have the luxury to do what?

Well, it is offering us that luxury of actually having time to think and reflect. Now that is dangerous as it takes us off our ‘chosen’ treadmill of pursuit.

I was pondering some thoughts around the quest for growth, the demands for change, and the need to become nimble, agile, and more dynamic in what we do. We crowd out our days and never stop to reflect.

So I started to think a little more. Now that can be dangerous, and I am not too sure it gave me answers, just more questions. My starting point was the endless journey of innovation. Continue reading

Politics, Economics and Climate need to come together.

 

In the last few months, I have got increasingly nervous about where we are NOT going on climate change

I have never before published one article on each of my three posting sites. This post I just had to. It is shaping me in how I look at innovation, collaboration, the power of networks, ecosystems and most of all, in our world of energy transition needed to reverse climate warming. So apologies if you see it on three separate sites but I don’t apologize for my real, underlying concern on where we are seemingly heading as a world.

The bush fires of Australia have been shocking, devastating, and crippling. They catalyze the concerns we all should have.

Each of us might or likely will face a shocking, devastating or crippling “event” in our lives in the next ten to twenty years. I feel it is inevitable, irrespective if we stopped all the debates and did the level of investment, we need to reverse the climate warming.

The next ten years of our investments in cutting emissions and refocusing our energy needs must go towards clean energy (renewables). Our ability to make a change will determine if these events recently will become the new norm, as our planet spins even more out of our ability to control climate-warming through greenhouse gases.

So I have to move through this shocking, devastating, and crippling effect but have I have begun to accept  the reality that our world is in a “state of climate alarm,” not just a “climate emergency.” Continue reading

Recognizing different innovating capabilities to develop and grow

IFD Complexity WebA firm’s ordinary capabilities are the ones that enable us to perform efficiently and effectively, those essential routines and practices that often require having a high level of technical need supporting these activities.

In contrast, dynamic capabilities are those higher-level competencies that determine a firm’s ability to integrate, build, and reconfigure both the resources and skills to possibly shape, they have the power to transform, and then be deployed to meet rapidly changing business environments, to take advantage of these changing conditions. We need to seek out the dynamic ones and nurture these as they give us the real ability to grow and build our new capacity.

Recognizing the importance of Dynamic Capabilities

Dynamic capabilities are about selecting the right things to do and getting them done, while ordinary skills are about doing something right. The former implicates dynamic efficiency, the latter static efficiency.

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Cracking the complexity code

Cracking the complexity code of organizationsThere was a good article within the McKinsey Quarterly published way back in 2007 entitled “Cracking the complexity code,” written by three authors Suzanne Heywood, Jessica Spungin, and David Turnbull. It still has a lot of relevancy in my mind today.

They lead this article with “one view of complexity that holds that it is largely a bad thing- that simplification generally creates value by removing unnecessary costs.” Yes, we all yearn for a more simplified life, structure, organization, approach to systems or just reducing complexity in our daily lives to find time for what we view as improving its ‘quality.’

Within the article, they argue there are two types of complexity – institutional and individual.

The former concerns itself with the interactions within the organization; the latter is the way individuals or managers deal personally with complexity.

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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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