I was reading an article by Doug Collins on the “three wishes for the innovation practitioner for 2015” where he points out “2014 was the year for share buybacks and dividends“.
An article from Bloomberg reports that companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index are “poised to spend $914 billion on share buybacks and dividends this year, or about 95 percent of earnings.”
95% of earnings – Doug rightly says “wow” and offers a thoughtful set of observations
“Every organization that enjoys free cash flow makes a decision on where to allocate that resource. If the opportunity available to the organization meets or exceeds the hurdle rate—the desired, expected rate of return—then, in theory, they invest in that opportunity. If not, then no: the organization returns the cash to the investors. Of course, earnings come after investments the organization makes in innovation—research & development expenses, for example. Many do invest a lot in R&D”
He then remarks “And yet…..and yet” ….
Following the release on Monday, April 25, where we published a Collaborative Innovation Reference Model by Jeffrey Phillips of OVO Innovation and myself, Paul Hobcraft of Agility Innovation, I would like to put forward some further opening arguments for proposing the broad adoption of a common framework for the innovation management process.
You can read more about its background here and you are welcome to participate.
Why innovation does needs a common reference point?
When you don’t have a common approach to something, in this case the management of innovation, you can have considerable pockets of inefficiency and a high level of ineffectiveness to deal with.
Yesterday, 5th May, there was an interesting exchange on #innochat relating to collaborating frameworks for innovation. We have a wiki on this http://cirf.pbworks.com if you care to take a look so you get the context and the suggested framework we are proposing.
#Innochat is a lively, informative and inspiring one-hour(ish) discussion on Thursdays at noon (Eastern US time). Usually the best way to follow along is to head over to TweetChat – sign in with your Twitter credentials and follow along and participate. Take a look at www.innochat.com and join in.
Jeffrey Philips @ovoinnovation and myself @paul4innovating have been suggesting that we need to organize more around a common approach to innovation and having recently published this we decided to put this forward within this discussion hour to learn more from many established innovation thinkers. The fact that twitter decided to go ‘whaling’, stalling and generally misbehaving to create some bottleneck in exchanges, it did seem to generate a lot of ‘chat’ and a great diversity of opinion.
Rethinking innovation after a week where I have argued for a more common approach to innovation (see some of my recent posts )- as one that can be well structured and managed – I feel needs to be discussed next. I do fear if we don’t radically rethink innovation we are in danger of missing out on much that is coming towards us.
If we do not adopt and gain a clear understanding of (basic) innovation, its structure, process and differences in approaches we need, we will certainly struggle to move beyond the basics to the ‘promise’ of advancement that innovation should be offering.
I would like to offer some of the factors that I feel will be shaping innovation’s future; many are presently taking place but in pockets of expertise and experimentation, that we have to investigate more to understand the implications further.
What is holding innovation back?
This week a collaborative innovation framework venture has been launched by Jeffrey Phillips at http://www.innovateonpurpose.com and myself, Paul Hobcraft at http://www.agilityinnovation.com.
They have opened up a wiki for anyone to join with the intention of building on these frameworks. This is at http://cirf.pbworks.com.
This effort is seeking contributions, we want your engagement. It is deliberately open to be used, to be improved upon and to form a platform for a standard thinking through for innovation providing it works under the creative commons license it has.
For far too long innovation has been left to chance. We are interested in explaining the many facets that make up a successful innovation endeavor but it can be extremely tough to capture and explain the complexity of innovation. Innovation is dynamic and throwing open this set of models allows for it to be constantly improved for all to benefit.
Four Critical Slides
I often get very frustrated at the huge loss of energy by many organizations on piecing together a more robust innovation structure.Somehow they lose it. They forget to think it fully through, rush to build some of the component parts and then spend a lot of their time, back filling or bridging the gaps they created in the first place.
I really would like to reduce this diffusion of spent energies, so these efforts are directed at the critical points of understanding within the innovation process, to drive through new initiatives in a sustaining way. If we can gain this depth of understanding by all, then there is this greater identification to the whole. Also we gain a better appreciate of the parts we are playing within the system to make a more positive contribution to growing your innovation activities in a clearer environment. It would improve innovation identification and outcome results.
So with this thinking behind us, Jeffrey Phillips at http://www.innovateonpurpose.com and my organization through http://www.agilityinnovation.com, we began to talk through and exchange ideas and concepts for building a collaborative innovation framework. We wanted any end result to be open and freely shared with anyone. We wanted others to build on these early attempts to move, if we can, to a better standard. We recognized whatever we produced needed adapting to meet different circumstances but was generic enough to be recognized.
Jeffrey Phillips of Ovo and Innovate on Purpose fame, based in the US and viewed on http://www.innovateonpurpose.com , and I have combined to share a view of an innovation framework that aims to reduce many of innovations mysteries. We describe and prescribe to a set of innovation methods that we believe can greatly simplify the innovation process. Here we lay out the beta version of a collaborative innovation framework.
Jeffrey has commented on his blog http://bit.ly/eBGKS5, “We believe that framework can help reduce the mystery and develop a “standard” for innovation which enables more firms to innovate and accelerates adoption of innovation. This is not to say that the model we are developing will be a “cure all” for every situation. Any firm starting an innovation effort will need to adopt the model, then adapt it to its needs. But by exposing the model and examining the different innovation “types” (business model innovation, open innovation, design-led innovation, service/experience innovation, etc) we can establish the validity of the approach and demonstrate that the model is a starting point for any kind of innovation effort.”
Over the next few days we are unveiling the approach at InnovationManagement.se , with the article opening this discussion at: http://bit.ly/ee8ID7 and also at InnovationTools.com coming out later in the week.