You hear constantly the need for greater speed, increased agility, and effective delivery from ideas to implementations for innovation. Yet we still keep these organizational needs locked into those old structures, systems and processes that have been layered one on top of the other as we learnt about innovation over the years. We often simply kept adapting these (often badly) into the existing way we were managing innovation. Isn’t it time we addressed this growing issue of adapting, stopped the compromising and started redesigning our innovation systems from afresh with present day leading innovation practice thinking?
Managing innovation as a system is no different from managing IT for example. You get to a given point where the costs of running innovations through your existing systems continue to rise. You begin to diminish your innovation performance. Speed to market seems never to improve the way you want it too, and more importantly delivery against the identified market opportunity seemingly gets more and more compromised. The risks of cutting corners seemingly grows every day, and you under deliver on the opportunity first seen. No wonder eventually leaders begin to question and lose confidence in their innovation abilities. The results increasingly become suboptimal.
Is there an alternative?
I believe we need to re-engineer innovation differently and more radically. Without doubt we have all learnt enormously from the evolution of innovation and its management but there is a time to rethink the whole rationale behind innovation, its systems, structure and process. Increasingly organizations are appreciating their unique but surprisingly precious few distinctive innovation capabilities that (can) set them apart. Understanding these does start giving the strategic perspective of what is core and to be protected and developed, that meet the strategic priorities, against what needs to be increasingly outsourced or relegated in management attention and support.