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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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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Putting some dynamic tension into the system

Tension and Dynamics

 

 

 

 

 

There is a growing need for having some dynamic tensions within the organization’s system; these helps generate the better conditions for innovation to thrive. We are learning more on the better tools, techniques and approaches available for putting the learning tensions into our work, making them more dynamic, linked and increasingly relevant to the work to be done.

1). A common language is essential

Any dynamics in the system needs that ability to talk the same language, something that becomes common and embedded to support the routines and move quicker to the concepts and solutions, as others can ‘understand’ them as well. It is through working on the inner stories and appreciating the history, it is having an appreciation of events, good and bad, it is through local slogans, your jargon and dialogues that bring people together. The power of storytelling helps gain adoption and identification to those needs for working on a common cause.

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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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The world is working within increased complexity, are you?

IFD DNAThe challenges of managing in today’s worlds are tough, very tough and demanding. It is so volatile, potentially disruptive and full of risk. Organizations are simply struggling to shed their clothes of the 20th century and find a way to smoothly manage into becoming more adaptable and agile in form. They are adjusting to offer consistent responses to instability in the most effective ways, to keep adapting to the consistent market challenges,and in so doing profiting from meeting that latest challenge or disruptive opportunity.

The problem is you simply can’t manage this smoothly, it will be highly disruptive as the organization re-equips themselves and learns, often in the hardest way possible, through failure, through experimentation, through risk-taking . Innovation is increasingly seen as the pathway forward in capturing growth and grabbing any advantage, even if these are increasingly transient. Yet as we look towards building our innovation capabilities we need to work in totally different ways and see ‘things’ in new ways.

Innovation in itself is also a force of instability and we need to find ways to embrace much of its uncertainties by understanding its dynamics. We need to have a major shift in our organizational thinking, needed to find the appropriate new balance within those dual ‘tensions’ of ‘stability’ through efficiency, with its opposite, ‘change’ driven by innovation. It is these dynamic forces within the world we work that require us to respond by building that capacity for managing those ‘dynamic’ innovation capabilities, that today’s markets are requiring and organizations are needing to master.

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Understanding the value creation potential of fitness landscapes

Fitness training visual

The greater fitness you achieve equates to more value creation potential.

  • The ability to inter‐couple landscape entities, to constantly combine the different capabilities in different often unique ways and exploit individual interactions alters your dynamics to innovate and does improve repeatable cycle times from this constant recreation potential.
  • The key is to know what these capability points are – by dynamic linking those that are important and ignoring those that are not.
  • By learning from these experiments or adaptive walks you can quickly operationalize routines that can be quickly absorbed across the organization and so reduce uncertainties and strengthen the capabilities.
  • The ability to create ‘natural tensions’ from this fitness learning triggers the need to further explore and search out different combinations, this adds even further to your dynamics of innovation understanding.
  • Tensions can be healthy if channeled correctly, these are the ‘value insight’ moments where diverse knowledge suddenly combines into new potential innovation activity.

We need to search for clear distinctive capabilities so they can emerge and combine in new ways; these are your dynamic points for innovation.

These are unique to you, they make you distinctive. They lead you to new growth, new creations, new opportunities to innovate. You evolve. You constantly look to combine in different ways to stay ‘dynamic’ and sustaining.

If you would like to learn more then please contact me and we can set up a ‘decent’ conversation or meeting to talk through this specifically. Contact paul@agilityinnovation.com

 

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