What goes around, comes around, in Innovation

It is funny but that often-used phrase “what goes around, comes around” seems appropriate here.

I was catching up with my often collaborator and sparring partner on “all things innovating” Jeffrey Phillips  recently, and within our conversation, some of our discussions sort of triggered a reflection back to some fundamental work we undertook some years back.

In revisiting it, I felt it does stand the test of time and does seem to make this “come around” seem true. Let me provide a quick introduction along with some brief explanations : Continue reading

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Applying the Three Horizon Thinking to a Fresh Perspective of Innovation Design

There is huge value in applying the three horizon framework into your thinking. It is as useful a framework that you can get, to help decide where you are heading.

It is not just for innovation application, that can determine innovation activities. It has multiple values in any organization thinking and alignment.

The 3H informs the decisions to be taken, by recognizing their importance to the future and ‘frame’ resource allocation, identify current capability gaps to resolve.

It helps to enable the whole organization to “get onto the same page” and move towards that desired future.

This 3H thinking helps break down complex issues. Thinking in different horizons prompts you to go beyond the usual focus of fixing innovation just in the present it provides the connections of the present with the desired future. The 3H builds portfolio design, outline the steps to resolve in any complex challenge, it ‘informs’ strategy and builds the business case for taking a specific direction to that ‘desired future’.

If you want to read more on the three horizons then take some time out to explore the “insights and thinking” resource page shown under the ‘tabs’ above.

I recently applied the three horizons thinking to ‘frame’ a new innovation design Continue reading

The Dynamics within Agility.

There has been an awful lot to absorb when it comes to skills and how organizations need to be designed for the future. The suggestions have come ‘thick and fast’ from so many sources.

The number of helpful reports, observations and suggestions are constant and becoming overwhelming to translate effectively.

How can we map a new pathway for shifting current practices and transform them?

Where do we focus, what do we recognize as organization practices that can begin to transform the organization and re-equip it for a different future?

After working through a number the one that held my attention and has become central to my thinking to take organizational practices forward was provided by a recent report from McKinsey “How to create an agile organization”. This report has been part of a broader ‘agile’ series from them but this one specifically gave me my necessary anchor point, to move forward with my own design thinking for agility and innovation.

Agility for me is vital, it allows us to increasingly be adaptive in an uncertain world.

As innovation continues to be central to growth far more in the future it is our ability to adapt and adjust to all the uncertainties and this requires the ability to be agile. Continue reading

So Where Is Innovation Heading?

I have written a fair amount about the new innovation era, offering a view on its future design.

One that is jumping to a fresh cycle of innovative design

We are in the middle of it, some of you may not have noticed its impact and change but it is significant on the understanding of innovation, in it’s future design.

Often this era of change is not as well-recognized or being faced up to, as you would expect.

Many companies are still in denial or not wanting to address the significant legacy and change required.

Innovation has gone from being islands of knowledge, developing new products and services exclusive to that one company, then quickly copied by the competitors, into something radically different.

We are moving into innovation activities that are built more on collaborative and co-creation approaches, where cooperation and exchanges are more built around platforms and formed in ecosystems.These ecosystems gather around a concept or transformation that requires this collective approach and require a more radical design and become very unique in the end result .To achieve this innovation has gone digital, pure and simple. Continue reading

There are Knowns and Unknowns in Innovation: Let’s Manage Them Differently

quote from donald rumsfeld about the knowns and unknowns

This quote is from the former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Henry Rumsfeld, who mentioned: “unknown unknowns” (Rumsfeld, 2002).

Since then, people have started using quadrants of knowledge, i.e., known known, known unknown, unknown known, and unknown unknown, to understand and explain the nature of risk but also of leading to an opportunity.

For innovators so much of innovation is hard to detect, it needs discovery and working through these quadrants of knowledge as well. We need to treat ideas the same on how anything needs assessing but it needs to pass through a different thinking about knowledge understanding, as there are ‘known knowns’ and ‘unknown unknowns’ and we need to prepare for both within our innovation activities.

Our pursuit in life is often the same as our innovation efforts, it is in the search for discovery. Often it happens, that we already feel better equipped for exploring and observing by just getting out of our usual everyday working environment.

Continue reading

The new ROI for digital innovation

Innovation has had a bigger brother moving into the house next door; Digital Technology and between them, they have been busily knocking the walls down, to share the future going forward. The two have become interlinked, you seem to always need the one to respond to the other. Maybe it is a “digital – innovation twin” that shapes the physical world with digital understanding- think about the current Industrial Digital Twins for IIoT solutions.

Seriously, have you not noticed the more we work in the innovation space, digital and technology have become inseparable and part of any innovation solution. The innovation funds are increasingly being switched to digital or technology solutions and the output of the discoveries from this digital technology need innovation to then be applied. A virtuous loop.

Managing in this shift has become more intense and committing.

The reliance on deeper insights, more data, greater communications is changing the way we undertake innovation. Speed, scale, and scope are greater within the mix than ever before. We are testing uncertainty constantly, validating a part, pivoting more, experimenting and prototyping to work through this deciphering. Data specific, technology-driven, innovation invigorating.

Organizations are spotting opportunities faster than ever. We are cutting across borders, teaming up with start-up’s, past competitors to seize these opportunities. Continue reading

A new paradigm: focusing on Work to be Done

Much of what we read about with artificial intelligence, deep learning and robots can present a fear that our jobs are simply going, vanishing fairly soon. Technology, machines and information solutions will take over in this new world of accelerating technology with the concern of “so then, what do we do?

Well, I believe we have a real chance to, at last, celebrate. Yes celebrate, we can finally be liberated! Ever since the industrial revolution, we have been caught up in the productivity and efficiency trap, in the monotony of repeating work.

Today we are on the cusp of changing that.  Can you imagine all those boring, repetitive jobs we are faced with today can be simply handed over to machine intelligence, just happy to do the task at hand? Surely, if we manage this correctly it can release us up, it can enable our ingenuity to thrive. Continue reading