Often innovation succeeds or fails by the personal involvement and engagement of a ‘selected’ few- they make it happen as they are the heavyweights that have the final say.
We all need to recognize the type of innovation leadership personality within our organization, the ones we are working for, as this might help you manage the innovation work a whole lot better and attract in the resources you need.
So can you recognize the traits of your innovation leader?
Are they a front-end or back-end innovation leader? Here’s how you can begin to spot the difference.
Most of us that have travelled on the undergrounds around the world and are well used to the announcement as a train pulls into the station of “mind the gap” between stepping off the train and the platform. The reminder is to make us aware there is a gap and we need to be ready for this. We need to be consciously aware.
Innovation nearly always suffers some form of “mind the gap” and yet we tend to ignore the obvious and stumble into these gaps or fail to recognize them completely. These ‘gaps’ comes in so many different ways and guises.
We are in a need to constantly “mind the innovation gaps”, these are everywhere.
Firstly innovation is meant to bridge the growth gap found in organizations, it needs to have clear plans to manage the core, seek out new adjacencies and investigate the white space opportunities for making up the growth plans, so as to meet the strategic goals and aspirations of the organization. Often the resources are not allocated to all three of these, it is often left to the same team to bridge the gaps and more often than not, they fail. We also fail to think across different innovation horizons and not allocated dedicated resources and the time to each of these.
All too often strategy is not influencing the behaviours and outcomes around innovation, it is simply allowing them to be left to chance. Innovation is often being ‘pushed down’ the organization for others to interpret and offer their answers. This lack of alignment and top leadership engagement is one of the main causes why many organizations seem to just simply ‘limp’ along in their innovation activity.
Then those in leadership positions start expressing their disappointment over final innovation results, yet the answers simply lies more often than not as in their hands to resolve. Top leadership in organizations needs to shape innovation and be more involved in its strategic design. We need to resolve this innovation leadership gap of misunderstanding. We need to explain what their essential place is and provide the strategic frame to allow it to be understood. Then the contribution for innovation might be ‘allowed’ to deliver far more on its potential as it achieves that greater strategic alignment. Continue reading
We need to become really worried over our potential to re-galvanize growth across many of our economies. There is this growing feeling that in Europe, perhaps even the United States, we are in for a prolonged drawn out ‘slump’ with the possibilities of a Japanese-style lost decade.
Crash austerity programmes are compounding deeper economic problems and we need to find ways to create more demand, yet it does seem our current approaches are placing increasing constraints on solving this growth need. Of course, the public debt to GDP for many countries is alarming but if you can’t fix the problems with achieving growth, you just get further into debt. It seems as the predicted ‘inflows’ continue to fall below the forecasted ones you are forced into borrowing more to even support the existing environment. This adds further struggles to hold onto some of the essential services we require to function and we seem to continue downwards in a collapsing spiral.
We are suffering from those evil twins, a lack of fresh investments and bold innovation, which are failing, by not doing the essential job of promoting growth, of leading demand, of creating the new wealth we desperately need. The scale of our needs requires a different type of engagement, up and down our society; we need a new set of norms otherwise we will continue to witness some extremely painful adjustments across large parts of society.
Engagement means different things to different people