Facing the future or staying locked in the slow lane of the past?

Future stay in lane

Today we face unprecedented change; organizations are being hit on multiple sides, often by a bewildering set of forces to make them feel the immediate need is to go back into themselves, to be more inward than looking out and being open. There is this feeling today of being battered. Organizations are feeling the full force of the winds of business and global change.

Stopping, reflecting and then moving on.

Organizations are grappling with how to navigate through an unprecedented set of early 21st century challenges. How can they adjust to a more open and transparent world, a more fluid and adaptive one, that needs to be replacing the one we have been operating within all of the last century? One that seems to work no more as its very foundations seem to be crumbling. Organizations are in a period of relearning and understanding these ‘new’ forces at work. Continue reading

Seeing a business model through whose eyes?

Looking through whose eyesForget the flowery words; there is a time to deliver. I am trying to take a cold hard look at what and how we report in our organizations. Does it give us the level of detailed understanding to feel confident?

Let me outline some different thoughts, coming from some detailed research that is swirling around in my mind today. It’s a little complicated, but lets try.

I apologize this is a little longer than ideal so maybe take it in bite seized chunks.

Seeing an organizations business model but through whose eyes?

Is the business model important? Of course it is but how we see its value all depends on who are you, what you are looking for, knowing what provides the real value creation within that specific organization becomes important to appreciate their business model. Understanding the business model of organizations is important, it can tell us much, if it is well designed and explained.

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Visualizing the innovating future through narrative reporting

The push for narrative reporting

How do we capture all the activities that have the potential to generate wealth within organizations?  Most remain hidden as they lie within out knowledge-based capital. This the second part of two posts (part one here) discussing our need to capture and report on ALL our assets, both the tangible and intangibles.

Knowledge-based capital today is more important to understand in its make up than often the reported financial numbers. One generates the other and investors need to see what goes into an organizations knowledge capital to provide them with continued confidence or not.

Recently the OECD provided an extensive report on “Supporting Investment in Knowledge Capital, Growth and Innovation

I spent a fair amount of my time this last Saturday working through this document from the OECD. No, it was not because I had nothing better to do, it was simply because it ‘points’ towards one area I totally believe needs resolving, capturing knowledge and where it resides and how it works. Then we can begin to place increased focus upon improving the capabilities and capacities we all need for innovation to do its necessary work, that of regaining our growth and vitality in many markets. The problem is we often do not know which are the most valuable or critical to focus upon. Continue reading

Pushing towards a new frontier – visualizing the future.

We all know that innovation is hard to measure. Assessing innovation capabilities can be particularly hard as they are made up of so many intangibles. We need to frame these capabilities in much better ways, as they mostly remain shrouded in mysteries to render it difficult to know what each business actually needs to  invest in, to achieve their goals. Knowing what and where they need to improve their innovation capabilities becomes a critical need to know point for gaining unique competitive advantages.

So much of innovation activity is left to chance and it leaves all involved as vulnerable, open to being beaten to the next ‘big’ innovation breakthrough. I would strongly argue that organizations should build their innovation capabilities in systematic ways, yet few do, let alone understand what this truly means. We simply need too.

Understanding the ‘beating heart’ of organizations

One of the biggest gaps is trying to put a finger on the pulse of what makes up innovation. So much of the capabilities are intangible, locked up in those intellectual capitals of the organizations. Those that center on  people, their networks and relationships, the make-up of the structures that support their activities or restrict them, the ability of applying good or bad practices, the every day routines of each of the individuals that work within the organization.

These touch the very nerve center of organizations; you are striking at the very core of organizations, those intellectual combinations they make up so much that determines organizational performance. They expose or they enhance organization performance. Continue reading