Reflecting on our innovation practices

reflecting-on-our-innovation-practicesInnovation has been rapidly changing and much of its basics have been swallowed up by some newly defining frameworks that have raced up to the top of the innovation agenda. They have driven much of our thinking and reacting. It is right that we all respond to these but we often forget much of the rest of what innovation needs to be built upon.

The problem or challenge with this focusing upon ‘breaking’ practices or new methodologies, are they can be so much harder to master and build them into established positions and practices, without the right amount of debate, understanding and assessing the implications and impact.

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Warm and Fuzzy at the Front End of Innovation

Warm and fuzzy inside

Perhaps I have fallen into the very trap I have campaigned about in the past, in recognizing and resolving the disappointing results we achieve from all the work we put into the front end of innovation. The “warm and fuzzy” front end of innovation can make us all a little grumpy.

Let me explain. I recently wrote out a newsletter – termed a thought or two – to my innovation network. This network is split between the advisers and consultants delivering into clients and the clients themselves, that I have a connections into that have built over the years. These are mostly through knowing them, working with them, exchanging or simply connecting in LinkedIn. The subject was the changes occurring at the front end of innovation.

My argument was the results we have obtained from a disconnected set of front end activities was poorer than they should be, and this needs changing. I feel there is a real shift potential happening today through connecting technology and connected solutions to ‘transform’ this front end. My feeling is the front end is often “warm and fuzzy” and it needs to be radically redesigned. I wrote about “hearing all the voices of ideas at the front end and the “two distinct parts of the innovation funnel” building from my original post “the new extended innovation funnel“, written in 2011.

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Fast-forward into the Innovation Future

In my last posting (http://tinyurl.com/af6vj6k) I spoke of the innovation fog surrounding me and that I was losing my orientation. This had caused me to press the ‘pause’ button so as to wait and allow the fog to lift. Then I could rely on my innovation compass a little bit more with confidence as it points again towards the future of innovation.

Well, only 24 hours later the fog was blown away and powerfully so. Do you believe in serendipity, that gift of making fortunate discoveries? Well it has certainly risen up the “I believe” scale for me. Over the last weekend I was catching up on the emails and I had one sent to me by ISPIM, a network of researchers, industrialists, consultants and public bodies, who share an interest in innovation management.

ISPIM had sent me their latest “Innovation Watch- issue 1-2013” and in this there was a timely (well clearly for me) article from Karl-Heinz Leitner, a Senior Scientist with the Austrian Institute of Technology, entitled  Innovation Futures: How Will We Innovate in the Future? Continue reading