We need to recognize that innovation is one of the hardest things to align to strategy. It’s inherently messy, fairly unpredictable and its team-orientated approach sometimes cuts across borders, challenges different established positions and seemingly conflicting priorities.
It often challenges the status quo and can on certain occasions, potentially challenge the stated strategic goals as those ‘disruptive forces’ have not been addressed radically enough. Innovation often “asks” difficult questions of ourselves.
We keep asking a lot of innovators but consistently restrain them or starve them of essential resources, at the critical times they need them. We seem to get in the way of blocking innovation so it can’t be seen to align with the goals or vision of the organization. Continue reading →
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.
It is not an easy job to achieve the level of consistent innovation expected within any organization. Often those breakthroughs never seem to be repeated, we struggle to understand the reasons why we can’t achieve that regular rhythm or dependable outcomes from the innovation portfolio, that we would have expected or the board demands.
If you ever look at high performance in sport it is in the consistent, hour-upon-hour, day-upon-day of dedicated practice, hard work and consistent honing that gets you to that performance point. You seek to reduce deviance; you look to achieve a certain consistency.
Business Organizations will like that approach, it ‘plays’ to the efficiency and effectiveness message, it offers up a predictability and reliability that allows for dedicated planning and ‘predicting’ solid performance and certainly. This is the ideal for those investors looking for a consistency in results and dividends and the Executive Board yearns for.
Today’s uncertainly asks for a different performance
When you begin to think through something that might change the present dynamics within innovation and its management it becomes exciting. When you develop an emerging answer , by recognizing one really critical gap that needs filling, it becomes hugely exciting actually. Not just in researching it, in debating it but in eventually constructing a sound framework, that is visual, easy to connect too and for hopefully many to become involved and engaged with, brings this work together into a realization that is really rewarding.
For Jeffrey Phillips and me, we believe we are offering something that makes sense through our framework, which we call the Executive Innovation Work Mat, with a link to the short introductory series, published in September 2012.
In our initial White Paper there is the outlines of our thinking behind this Executive Innovation Work Mat. The important message is that we want to deliver the message into the boardrooms of as many business organizations as we can, with this message of intent which can be simply summed up as “we believe we have a framework that will help the leadership of organizations to identify with, understand their role in this and in this strategic participation and framing innovation intent, so advance the contribution of innovation within their organizations and beyond.”
Let me lay out the overarching proposition for this.