Peeling away the terrain of innovation reality

So do we have a clear understanding of where we are in our current innovation capabilities?

We have to establish a way to map our ‘terrain of reality’ in not just how we are performing but what lost opportunities have slipped through, simply because we lacked the awareness to seize on these opportunities when we first spotted them.

We have significant gaps in our innovation capabilities and competencies. Have you ever really audited them? Taken them through a structured examination?

We do need to achieve a ‘reality’ check or we stay in a state of, forgive me, ignorance. We don’t see the possibilities we only see the possible and in today’s world that is a losers mentality. We need to push ourselves but before we do, we do need to know where we are.

Through my work on building the Innovation Fitness Landscapes that are relevant to you today and then structuring the place you want to be by starting to address the questions: are we focusing on the right ones to deliver on the challenges we are facing?”, “what can we do differently?” and “how can we identify those critical ones”? and “how can these be structured to clearly move us to the new capabilities we require?”

My role here is to be the guide towards building improved innovation capabilities and capacity

My role is to help in this task by identifying the opportunity spaces on where you need to focus your efforts‐ and apply the appropriate understanding and identify what resources are needed, so my job is to help you to navigate the terrain. Here is my journey outline described as a typical story that we all need envision and go through.

Through an innovation fitness landscape plan, you can access where you are and what needs to be achieved to get you to the desired point you see as where you need to be. Read more of this post

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Do you REALLY want to know how to innovate?

Applying a lens of discovery:

The basic questions that need to be addressed are:

“what are our dynamic capabilities that will deliver innovation impact?

More importantly: “which ones should we focus upon to improve our capabilities and competencies over the longer-term?

We recognize resources are scarce as our starting point

Yet we fail to understand the makeup of innovation. We still don’t understand the parts that contributes to the ‘dynamics’ of innovation or how they combine for the interdependency of the parts we so often need. Read more of this post

Shifting our dynamics to innovate within the digital age

IntangiblesThere was a report written back in 2013 entitled and under, “The New Normal: Competitive advantage in the digital economy” written for the Big Innovation Centre, an initiative of The Work Foundation and Lancaster University that I would recommend your time to read.

I often go back to this as it provides a real source of understanding of the shifts being undertaken within our organizations, to make the fundamental shifts in their thinking to understand where today’s and our future value creation will come from; something that is mostly due to this increasing importance of the digital changes occurring all around us.

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Holding the innovations of the future back

Lifting the innovation capitalI clearly believe we do need to understand the strategic importance of the make-up of our innovation capital, yet presently nearly all our corporate boards lack any clear line of sight into this. Why?

Not understanding what makes up the capital is holding innovation back. We are actually constraining growth through this lack of understanding as it makes us all cautious of the future.

If we don’t fully understand the make-up of all our capital should we invest or divert resources to delivering on it? I think it is high time we did.

So what makes up our innovation capital and why is it important to know?

Should we care, does it matter? I would argue it does, increasingly so. Within the innovation capital lies the future of the organization and holds one of the real golden keys to the sustaining performance of the company, or not.

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Building bridges between stocks and flows

Lavertezzo ponte dei saltiI really enjoyed this thinking about stocks and flows that are necessary.

Let me share the part that works really well for me. This relates to approaching social media but it equally applies to building innovation capital, it is recognizing and then building the stock and the flows around innovation.

Robin Sloan does a brilliant job of explaining this:

“One of the biggest takeaways was the concept of stock and flow. Do you know about this? Couldn’t be simpler, and really, it’s not even that much of an a-ha.

There are two kinds of quantities in the world. Stock is a static value: money in the bank, or trees in the forest. Flow is a rate of change: fifteen dollars an hour, or three thousand toothpicks a day. Easy – too easy.

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Recognizing the different capabilities to develop and grow

IFD Complexity WebA firm’s ordinary capabilities are the ones that enable us to perform efficiently and effectively, those essential routines and practices that often require having a high level of technical need supporting these activities.

In contrast, dynamic capabilities are those higher level competences that determine a firm’s ability to integrate, build, and reconfigure both the resources and competences to possibly shape, have the power to transform and  then be deployed to meet rapidly changing business environments to take advantage of these changing conditions.

Recognizing the importance of Dynamic Capabilities

Dynamic capabilities are about selecting the right things to do and getting them done, while ordinary capabilities are about doing things right. The former implicates dynamic efficiency, the latter static efficiency.

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Organizational legacy often chokes innovation

Legacy often chokes new innovation

Legacy often chokes new innovation

Often organizations are weighed down by legacy; it chokes off innovation and much of the potential creativity. This comes in many forms; in its culture, in its history, its core markets or products, in its systems, structures and processes built around innovation practice.

Today, we are confronted with a very different global market place than in the last century. National borders and regulations built to protect those that are ‘within’ in the past have rapidly become a major part of the ‘containing- restraining’ factors that are rendering many previously well-respected organizations as heading towards being obsolete and not in tune with today’s different world where global sourcing determines much.

They are increasingly trapped in declining markets, starved of the new capabilities and capacities to grow a business beyond ‘traditional’ borders, so this means they are unable to take up the new challenges that are confronting them. They see themselves as reliant on hanging on to the existing situation as long as they can, often powerless to make the necessary shifts, failing to open up, finding it increasingly more than difficult to find the ways of letting go, of changing. They are trapped in legacy.

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