Do you recognize your innovators leaders position?

Recognizing your innovation leadership style

Often innovation succeeds or fails by the personal involvement and engagement of a ‘selected’ few. Recognizing the types of innovation leadership might help you manage the innovation work a little better.

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.

Before we climb into this

I recall enjoying a book published a few years back, “Innovation Governance- how top management organizes and mobilizes for innovation”, written by Jean-Philippe Deschamps and Beebe Nelson. I can totally recommend it as it is so rich in thinking through much around innovation, placed within this governance framework. It lays out a clear improvement path for innovation to travel. I am drawing from this book on some thoughts about innovation leadership.

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We need to shift from scalable efficiency to scalable learning.

We need to shift from scalable efficiency to scalable learning but how can we liberate creative energy, how can we achieve higher engagement?

The best way is to encourage everyone to have the ongoing experience, to get really involved and caught up in projects and initiatives that have the potential for impact. Learning from failures needs to be part of this.

Yet the very best thing is to encourage connected minds for value-creating opportunities and knowledge sharing for innovation to flow across an organization. For this, we need to think about some modern engagement platforms that have ’engagement and knowledge’ at their heart.

Let me offer some thoughts on this engagement need. It is (really) valuable to relate too.
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Those that learn to frame the Strategic Innovation discussion are the big winners

discussion

Constructing an innovation conversation framework is never easy, we all come at it in different ways and when it comes to those strategic conversations, we feel a sense of panic and growing tension as our messages begin to fray at the edges and slip more into tactical, the more we talk.

If you just diving into innovations, this sort of strategic conversation can change the goalposts, alter the perspective, and can give the innovation a more focused framing to build propositions around. It enables you to stand out as you are able to articulate the “bigger picture”

The framing of an innovation conversation framework

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Forget Best Practice, Think Always Of Learning Next Practice

Often you hear the request made: “Can you give us a best practice snapshot; we would like to get a sense of where we are”.

The trouble with best practice is you are looking at someone else’s practices and these are highly individual, made up of different groups of methodologies, processes, rules, theories, values, and concepts. These together have provided that specific company a level of success that others – mostly competitors – begin to notice.

There is no such thing as what they have it, you need to copy and have the same.

We all get caught up in best practices, you can’t simply pick up and plug and play, as one organization’s initiative is never the same set of conditions or positioning that others can simply copy.

We desire the “one-size fits all” as a comfort blanket, it makes our innovation lives easier. Many consultants love this request, as they do not need to apply the real skills of discernment, subject matter expertise, and the difficult challenge of peeling away a client’s practice to understand how they can rebuild them to become unique, into a leading practice that cannot be copied.

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Taking Final Ideas to Market is the Hardest Part

 

It seems so simple doesn’t it – “bringing final ideas to market”. So easy to say, yet it does seem so very hard to achieve.

Everything we should be aiming at is ‘successful execution’, it’s the last, hard five yards of all the work that went into something, which can be finally realized and come to ‘commercial life’

Here in Europe, it is often suggested that “Europe is the cradle of creativity”, perhaps but I think the United States is “the crucible of innovation”, it forges ideas and takes them to market far better. In the US there is this powerful push to make money far more and to realize innovation, as clearly you must focus on the ‘making money part2 otherwise it remains a good idea but not fully market executed.

Europe has many good ideas but they seem to get lost in this final stage, the execution of the concept, turning it into something realizable and commercially valuable, or socially needed. Much of Europe’s hard work in the discovery and validation stages fail to gain scale due to this lack of sustaining commitment until the concept is firmly established. There is far more emphasis on this final step within the Horizon 2020 funds to show ‘proof of concept’ or commercial value than in the past and that is a good thing.

Putting more resources behind the likely winners, rather than on projects that simply stay ‘blue sky’ or conceptual, then get picked up by others to commercialize. It is the final go-to-market that makes a real difference in wealth creation and job creation.

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Drawing out the different voices within the three horizon methodology for Innovation

Three Growth HorizonsWe so often struggle to articulate our innovation activity and then can’t seemingly project our plans into the future in consistent and coherent ways. We often lack the framing necessary.

If this rings true of the innovation activity in your organization, then it is in danger of being seen as isolated, one-off events, that fail to link to your organizational strategy. Furthermore you’ll be missing out, or not capitalizing on emerging trends and insights where fresh growth opportunities reside.

I so often come back to the messages we need to learn, which centers around the three horizon methodology.

I just wish this framework would be adopted far more within organizations. wanting to build a sustaining dialogue around innovation, it can be such a powerful enabler.

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Are you engaging with all the different voices around you?

How do we manage future discussions

Having different perspectives and voices will enhance your innovation activities, they provide diversity, stimulus and greater options for you to consider the future innovation journey. How do we set about engaging with all these different voices surrounding innovation?

Have you ever worked with the three horizon framework?

It is really useful for managing your innovation activities, drawing out the often conflicting voices within the organization on how to take innovation forward. The approach can unlock you from just being caught in the present, to one of envisaging a future that then allows you to begin to build different capabilities, competencies and capacities.

Find out more here and here and here on the three horizons or within this blog site put “three horizon approach ” into the search box. You will find  I have provided a considerable overview in different posts thoughts on the 3H thinking and why I place such value in it for innovation’s evolution.

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Questioning internally those many product failures

product-failure

There is a variety of different views on our product failure rates. According to some, the failure rate for new products launched for instance in the grocery sector is 70 to 80 percent in the US. For smaller US food businesses launching new products, the success rate is even lower around 11 percent. These are really high failure rates but is this a myth or reality? How does your organization evaluate product failures? Do you really want to talk about them?

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