A pathway towards building your dynamic innovation capabilities

A pathway towards building your dynamic innovation capabilities

To build a pathway in order to enable more dynamic innovation capabilities one needs to go through Nine Stages.

These nine stages are, in my opinion, needed for developing an understanding of your innovation capabilities, so as to make them more dynamic and, as a result, to be at the top of your innovation game.

This “step process,” I believe, gets you to the point of understanding what innovation capabilities are a better ‘fit’ for the purpose, to deliver on your innovation needs on a consistent, repeatable, and evolving basis.

Building innovation capabilities take time; they are complex, highly structured, and multi-dimensional. Any structured approach to tackling innovation takes time and considerable commitment. Any learning involves sensing, seizing, and then transforming.

We are searching for what makes up the present system and what needs to be part of the future to create a ‘best’ innovation capability environment that is sustainable in the longer-term. Those that can be continually ‘orchestrated’ and constantly adapted to meet the strategic need.

We are striving towards a true ‘innovation coherency premium’ in design, knowing what makes up your core dynamic components. The outcomes are to know where to invest, what to dampen down and what aspects can evolve naturally and be ‘taken along’ – as you focus upon the ones that are more dynamic and relevant to your innovation needs.

Each stage needs questioning and then answering to create specific phases of the journey. Ask yourself the following questions by creating a checklist to start building your own dynamic innovation capability and to understand your innovation fitness and landscape. 

1.Getting Started – understanding the needs & imperatives of innovation fitness

  • Why we must travel this critical path for Innovation.
  • The meaning of dynamic capabilities and innovation fitness landscapes
  • Merging the theory with practical reality to produce new outcomes and positive results.
  • Focusing on resources and performance – why is this important.
  • The problem is knowing what we have and what we really need and seeing the differences

2.The Fuel of Innovation Performance – the dynamics of innovation

  • A sharper, clearer focus on innovation resources to meet the strategic need.
  • What is known about resources to sustain, enhance performance?
  • Knowing and aligning your strategic criteria – for sound innovation approaches
  • Getting innovation within the right context of your business
  • Moving your resources in the right direction takes courage and decisive leadership.

3.Getting Even More Specific – quantification and qualification

  • Recognising the building of scale, change rates, and dynamics that happen over time and why we need to constantly build our innovation capabilities.
  • Developing the resources to meet the need – structured, focused, clarified by bringing out the necessary discussion.
  • An illustrative scenario for a directional innovation fitness landscape map
  • Recognising that resources can stretch beyond the firm and then bringing these in successfully, in gradual steps. Managing within a more open environment.
  • Achieving mutual dependencies to support; recognising the hindering ones
  • Being aware of the impact of different scenarios in the management of innovation allows for designing a flexible response capability.

4.Building the Innovation Fitness Machine – reinforcing feedback, identifying needs

  • Recognising the current status, spotting emerging patterns, seeing spaces and gaps, and identifying solutions.
  • Beginning the ‘adaptive walk’ to get to higher fitness points needed to compete.
  • Clarifying the complementary resources, looking to embed new routines quickly, and set up follow through approaches.
  • Introducing natural tensions into the system to trigger ‘step change.’
  • Resource dependence climate, culture, diversity, intensity, and uniqueness
  • Reinforcing feedback – watching for dangers, managing the machine capacity, removing the brakes selectively
  • Shifting your resources need not deplete or force other people to compete for them – working through the tensions within teams and silos.
  • Matching resource dynamics with the innovation value chain & life cycle stages helps maintain momentum.
  • Simulation modelling the ‘what ifs’ and ‘why.’

5.The Strategic Architecture – designing the system to perform as needed

  • The step process for designing and executing the architecture design
  • Diagnosing performance challenges and roadblocks – resolving, moving on
  • Lining up the solutions is not a linear process and needs careful management
  • Addressing the effects of intangibles in the Strategic Architecture.

6.The Hard Face of Soft(er) Factors – the hidden power of intangible resources

  • Clarifying the impact of the intangibles and recognising that time, climate, and conditions are significant contributors to innovation activities.
  • The different rivalry types: internal and external, inter-department, inter projects, and working through resolutions to these.
  • Reflecting feelings and expectations, addressing all the different needs
  • Measuring the tougher parts of intellectual capital
  • The real value of your intangible resources
  • Recognising the value of hidden innovation and spotting its occurrence

7.Entering into Competitive Battle – the dynamics of rivalry, the uniqueness of you

  • Recognising, developing, capturing, transforming, avoiding, and outmanoeuvring
  • Your point of choosing what, where, how, and when to compete.
  • Building capabilities that are unique to you and hard to replicate
  • Building sustainability into the innovation equation as ongoing
  • Extending the turf, exploiting the situation, pushing beyond, seeking partners.

8.Building and Testing Capabilities to Perform

  • Measuring capabilities through different fitness levels and scale
  • Learning to build capabilities as ‘ongoing’ and evolving for changing needs
  • Re-Structuring the process for dealing with the dynamics of change
  • Knowing the points of impact on performance to enable recognition and reality
  • Managing innovation performance progressively across the spectrum of business need through testing and extending capability learning.
  • Building from personal to the team, to organisational learning, in measured steps
  • Recognising the role of leadership, achieving strategic alignment, and working on broadening out innovation competence at different organisational levels.

9.Keeping the Innovation Fitness Wheels Turning, keeping your eyes on the road

  • Resolution of conflicting goals, control, and structure
  • Dissecting conflicting positions, resolving the impasse
  • Knowing the limits of human engagement
  • Goals, controls, and measurements can dominate and strangle
  • Keeping the measurements simple and clear
  • Managing innovation as a critical strategic resource
  • Merging the results into a greater alignment to strategy and approaches

The end result is looking to generate your innovation fitness landscape. If you need any coaching help, advice, or mentoring through this process, just get in touch with me here

Surfacing the real barriers to innovation.

Here I am suggesting that there are ten intractable challenges that need breaking down and addressing to allow innovation to begin to really take hold

I’d suggest this might be a great starting point. Considering the intractable in anything is hard. To recognize these firstly is terrific, as they are tough to manage but phenomenal if you can surface them.

Then having the capability of knowing how to set about tackling these, drawing in a growing consensus that these are the real blocks to the team becoming truly innovative.

If you could ask a series of question that might help unlock innovation blockages it would make such a difference to our innovation performance and engagement. I think this might need a good external facilitator as my recommendation, one who has deep innovation knowledge and expertise, able to manage the ‘dynamics’ within the room.

These are shaped as discussions to raise, explore and extract views and then to be pulled together into a collective position, that gives strength and identification to resolving issues surrounding innovation. Surfacing differences, finding common ground and developing a ‘collective’ way forward makes a significant contribution to building a common language and a common sense of identity. It underpins innovation engagement. It gives confidence to any innovation undertaking. Continue reading

Innovation Coaching Has Real Value

Although this seems to be expensive to undertake, one-on-one coaching offers a lasting value to connect innovation far more deeply in the way a person and their organization ‘sees it’. It provides the place of context, meaning and content if facilitated well.

The importance, like all behavioral change coaching, is to create a safe but challenging environment so the recipient can take risks and learn. You as the coach find the balance between challenging through inquiry and supporting different thinking to draw out possibilities to gain new understanding from.

All the work is usually based on the recipient’s agenda, through a set of opening discussions you need to balance both personal learning’s with organizational needs. These need consistent clarification and re-calibrating as you go. Continue reading

Building Your Own Innovation Capital Lies Within Organizational Learning

We need to know how to unlock the real value of innovation both personally and within the organization, we work for. If we do not fully understand where the innovation capital comes from, how new capital and stock can be provided, innovation will remain tentative, always stuttering along. It will lack that essential organization innovation rhythm, stay disconnected for many and will be frustrating your own evolution in understanding.

I’d like to offer a fresh view on building your own capital.

There are different building blocks and types of capital. Let’s start with the vast knowledge inside the organization, as this forms learning capital. We’re all expected to combine our existing internal knowledge with the external knowledge that flows into the company these days, mostly intangible, searching for its relevancy and context. The stock we build in our use of this fresh knowledge so we can combine these into new insights that eventually create different sets of advantages – ones that foster value creation.
Continue reading

The Value of Having A Curators Platform for Innovators

I would like to lay out some thoughts on why we should be considering a curation platform for innovation and the value it can bring to a broader innovation community.

These are some opening thoughts that I felt needed to just “hang out there” and see where they take me and clearly, you as a reader.

The issue I am reflecting upon is our growing concern that we all are living in a world heading towards digital overload, with the risk of it simply overwhelming us, perhaps we are becoming more isolated and detached within this.

We can’t simply rely on focusing around ‘all things’ digital, we need people to bring the insights and their experience together for the eventual innovation solutions. We need to provide a curators platform for innovation, to make all the essential connections. Continue reading

Seeking out new Knowledge that Flows

I have been heavily influenced by the great work of John Hagel and Deloitte’s “Big Shift Index” as a frame to measure the forces of long-term change. What really holds my attention is “knowledge flows” and they are suggesting we are moving from a world of push to a world of pull.

The world is increasingly uncertain and to steer through this we need new ways to access, attract and accumulate understanding.

Knowledge is highly intangible. Today it is less to do with the “stocks” of knowledge we have the ability to keep refreshing and that means increased participation in the relevant “flows” of knowledge. Continue reading

Putting the coordinates into your innovation World

Innovation can be fairly complex in what needs to be pulled together, as often it ‘flies’ in contradiction to the normal organizations ways and wishes to work in structured, efficient ways. Innovation can often be rather chaotic and discovery driven.

One of the useful ideas of using an external resource is to put additional coordinates into your innovation world, they see contradictions in a different way and can assist in working through the conflicting signals, so as to help align innovation in helpful and thoughtful ways. Certainly the innovators role is not an easy one inside the structured world of larger business entities.

I like practical advice with evidence, it helps bridge misunderstanding. This can come through a variety of methods:  benchmarking, validating, frameworks and interpreting how innovation can fit with your current or future needs. Often the outside advice can place innovation into a greater context that can accelerate the outcomes you need to gain understanding and achieve increasing identification. Continue reading

The Value in Personal Innovation Learning Journeys

If you don’t have time, how can you learn? We are in need increasingly, of faster understanding, to quickly learn or resolve an immediate need, or we have this determination or essential requirement within our innovation role to deepen our knowledge and understanding of innovation. These are usually split into two parts, called are “micro or macro learning opportunities”.

The value of having an innovation guide, mentor or coach helps you accelerate through both these needs and learning opportunities. I see four points of value, my value proposition, if you like, for you to achieve personal innovation growth: Continue reading