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

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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.
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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

Time starved, innovation lacking

Today most executives seem to be time starved. They are constantly reacting to daily events, for fix focusing and fixing short-term performance. This applies to the top executive down to the most junior.

This time-starved environment has real implications for innovation.

If we don’t sit down and think through issues and implication of our present performance around innovation, how can we close the gaps and improve it? We just simply don’t seem to have a more systematic, connected road map within our thinking that points the way to the improving longer-term as we keep doing this ‘reacting’ only.

We have such a limited amount of time; to pause, to evaluate, or redesign. We equally don’t feel capable to simply assign this over, even to outsiders to help. We are far too challenged and driven, often far too inbreed into thinking that “our solutions can only be the only solutions to our problems or challenges”.

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Solving root causes of innovation blockage

So what does block innovation? Arguably there are plenty of things up and down organizations.

For instance a lack of resources, an overcrowded portfolio of ideas, a lack of dedicated people, treating innovation as a one-off, keeping it isolated and apart from mainstream activities.

Yet many are simply hidden and need surfacing and require often an outside perspective.

Here are ten really important barriers, that can hold innovation back. Continue reading

Solving root causes of innovation blockage

So what does block innovation? Arguably there are plenty of things up and down organizations.

For instance a lack of resources, an overcrowded portfolio of ideas, a lack of dedicated people, treating innovation as a one-off, keeping it isolated and apart from mainstream activities.

Yet many are simply hidden and need surfacing and require often an outside perspective.

Here are ten really important barriers, that can hold innovation back. Continue reading

Differentiating Yourself Part Two

So my further part of how we need to set about and differentiate ourselves

How do we show the real difference that innovation can provide?

I believe we have eight needs to achieve.

Each of us will arrive at our own personal understanding of what this “all means”.

Innovation is about achieving difference so if we all arrived at the same point of understanding then we actually are defeating ourselves from the very beginning

So what are these eight ‘triggering’ points? Briefly Part one is here:

Exploring the second four below ( the first four are here ) Continue reading