The Critically Important Innovation Narrative

Whatever we do, we do far better when we become emotionally connected. Often understanding a good story builds this emotional connection or simply puts you off. Stories can inspire and spark even greater ideas. The art of storytelling and making connections with the listener or reader has incredible value. Yet, a story has limited value. For me, it is the more powerful narrative that drives innovation, inspiring and gaining identification in multiple ways.

A story is linked to a series of events that take a character from one state to another. In contrast, a narrative is a system of stories that links values and events to establish a broader and often new cultural meaning.

Let’s draw down on so much of John Hagel’s work on narratives. It has shaped my thinking. Continue reading

Going beyond the known of today

There are so many places where innovation is essential within the Energy Transition due to the magnitude, size, and complexity of the change needed to achieve a decarbonized world. There is a world of innovative possibilities.

One of the most important catalysts for changing the energy system into a sustainable green one is by taking our thinking beyond the known into the possibilities we need for a sustainable future of energy based on the ability for renewables to generate all our electrification needs.

We need to build out all our renewable possibilities that include solar, wind, hydro, green hydrogen and nuclear energy.

In this combination of pursuit, nurturing, and expanding our thinking through the thoughtful construction of a vision built on knowledge, exploration and understanding, we can mobilize the changes needed.

My energy journey is being navigated across the three-time horizons. Continue reading

Leadership Alignment Work Mat for making Innovation fully connected.

I believe the value of working the seven domains of this framework, named the Leadership Alignment Workmat has significant value within and across any organization. It brings innovation together, a unifying point for the activity and momentum of innovation to become central to the core of the business in its future investment and value impact.

The Leadership Alignment Workmat provides a unique examination of the executive’s role in innovation; it offers a framework that the organisation’s leadership can adopt to ensure linkages and synergies between strategy and innovation, innovation and capabilities, innovation and culture.

They often lack the communicating medium to help clarify and shape the innovation story to provide the guidance necessary for achieving that essential engagement and encouragement they would like to align organizational efforts required from innovation to the strategies envisioned.

Benefits of applying the Leadership Alignment Work Mat

From an investment in an executive work mat exercise, you receive four significant benefits. Continue reading

Mapping Out Your Innovating Way Forward

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Mapping any innovation journey can be complicated. There is a fairly detailed journey needed to be undertaken for mapping out your future direction of innovation.

Let’s get straight into it and the process and sequence needed within any innovation journey.

Firstly you have to work through the Strategic Needs– this needs to cover the type of approaches, the scope and intent, the assessments of the required impact for the end customer and organizational value, the understanding and outlines of this becoming organizational-wide in its integrated needs.

This approach does need a systematic approach, continuous up-dated toolboxes and visible metrics and tracking. Lastly, to build and quickly test, adopt and scale as knowledge and understanding are gained.

Second, there is the need to build reference points for future innovation activities, so duplication and learning can be built into understanding. Here it is vital to have gained the continued support and engagement of high-level participation, where we recommend the Leadership Alignment work Mat approach, Continue reading

Fitness Landscape Dynamics for Innovation

Fitness Landscape Dynamics

Innovation is not so easy. There are so many dependencies that you need to work through. The importance of recognizing innovation needs a systematic approach becomes clear when you begin to work through all the needs and issues to understand and translate. Here are some thoughts:

By exploring and modelling the mutual dependencies, you get to see how the existing and alternative future innovation system will behave as you begin to map out and recognize the different emphasis points that make up your innovation system.

You can begin to identify the more important dynamic ones that require a more dedicated focus and place more of your resources behind. In contrast, others can evolve at their own pace or simply improve as they are far more dependent on the dynamic ones than you realized initially. These can get simply get ‘pulled along’ and rise equally in their performance. Continue reading

Designing Unique Workshops is hard work

Finding opportunities for Innovation and Growth is hard work. It is the value of having good, interactive, highly participative workshops that breaks much of those initial barriers to allow the hard work to begin more cohesively and collaboratively.

I believe any workshops design must meet your needs, push the thinking, and generate new returns in innovation understanding.

Boilerplate designs might look initially attractive, but knowing your needs, limitations, concerns, and ambitions can transform a workshop into one that lasts in the participant’s minds. They felt it was “clearly” designed for them.

Which end of the innovation spectrum do we need to go to?

  • Workshops can mean different things to different people. Find ones that are 100% focused on engaging with and accelerating innovation. They need a couple of simple rules.
  • Conducting ‘open’ dialogues or focused conversations should always have a sound context, so the contributions slowly build-out and hold real promise.
  • Discoveries can start with different ‘fields of enquiry’ to achieve different connections and deepen our perspectives.

A great book, written by Bill Sharpe, explaining the Three Horizons often comes to mind. I wrote about it here “Three Horizons- fields of future, full of foresight.”

Then I find the Divergent / Convergent approach in thinking as highly valuable.

We need to always challenge ourselves, and taking you through a set of lenses of discovery that go from ‘divergent to convergent‘ is important. Continue reading

Building Capability and Capacity to Expand Capabilities for Innovation

A new equation

For innovation to be successful, the bottom line is the commitment and focus made for building the capabilities and competencies in innovation as people make us the real value and ARE the innovation success equation in my opinion,

So we must simply invest in them by focusing on the 3 C’s of developing peoples Capability, Competency and Capability.

As we set about to build and expand capabilities, we need to consider:

  • How we can accelerate the uptake of innovation activity around the conditions provided through investing in them
  • The need to trigger engagement and achieve growing attainment of knowledge acquisition and dispersion skills- essential for collaborative innovation
  • Setting about building practices for greater synergies, relationships and networking conditions, for ongoing learning and absorptive capacity
  • Extracting the right cultural, design, climate and environmental conditions,
  • Placing increasing value on evolving the structures, processes and technology application
  • Investing in lessons learnt through validation and resolutions to challenges to build an ongoing adaptive capacity.
  • Recognizing people solve the critical bottlenecks and find solutions to overcome the constraints, they become increasingly motivated to find solutions and resolve gaps through their ability to be creative and inquisitive.
  • The ongoing building of capabilities and competencies clearly leads to a more sustaining and determined innovation future.

Increasing capacity through coaching

There are many benefits from having an intense course of one-on-one coaching, irrespective of the level of responsibility you have for innovation within your organization. Continue reading

Building the Innovation Business Case

The building always the Innovation Business Case offers a unique approach to tackle one of the real problem areas within innovation- making the case compelling.

One of the toughest aspects within Innovation is making the Business Case. Much of the information is imperfect, the returns are often fuzzy and the doubters ready to block and deter new ideas from entering the commercialization process.

Knowing the issues, reducing often the ‘noise and distractions’ and making the professional case is what we need to do to attract commitment to the projects we are working upon.

How can you reduce down uncertainty? By ensuring the innovation business case takes a clear methodical approach to this and builds the arguments up in a sound structured way, that shows the areas of clear discussion and conclusion and reduces down the more ’emotive parts, so as to allow the ‘idea or concept’ to firm up and be seen for its real merits.

Continue reading