The dynamic points of innovation understanding

Fitness Landscape 1 Sewall WrightHave you ever studied a map in a hilly or mountainous terrain? When you are studying the terrain, you have to survey the landscape and then decide how to cross. You need to be aware of what to avoid and what will help you map out a successful pathway. You need to optimize, evaluate and determine your best options.

Determining future innovation outcomes requires a greater understanding of what capabilities are more useful to develop, those that offer a more dynamic capacity. Do you know yours?

Can you separate these from the many you have that fail to give innovation impact?

We never start from a blank innovation canvas.

None of us has a ‘blank’ innovation canvas, we have developed a present position; one that is built on a legacy of past work and from our needs built up from our innovation activity, also in the past. As these develop we make choices, we sometimes become locked into certain structures, systems and processes, so we find it often highly difficult on how we are going to change, to move from one position to a different one – traversing the landscape to achieve better solutions to meet different goals that meet the present or future needs. Read more of this post

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Restating the Value Proposition of Innovation Fitness

Innovation DNAI have been reviewing my work on innovation fitness landscapes, in the designing and understanding of the dynamic capabilities organizations constantly need to find, evolve and establish for sustaining successful innovation. Those that are more essential to manage the growing complexity in moving towards achieving successful and sustaining innovation outcomes.

I felt it was time to make a restatement.

Let me restate what I am focusing upon here, in this work and why it has a separate, dedicated website to allow me to evolve and share in this discovery and thinking through journey.

So my hypothesis, hopefully covered off in this initial explanation is made on the basis of growing research and evidence, as an investigative point for further work-to-be-done in thinking and constructing around the plotting or mapping out specific innovation landscapes that deliver the innovation capabilities needed.

This work is now at a point it needs additional help to take this out further in a testing and experimental environment and I am looking for one or more ‘willing’ organizations to be the pilot for this to validate and further improve from the learning.

The Challenge I’m trying to Solve

Knowing what are the critical factors for innovation and their dependence for sustaining innovation success are becoming a vital necessity to understand so an organization can place the appropriate resources behind them. The question is, which are critical, which naturally occur when others begin to be put into place, which seem to have limited or no real effect on changing the dynamics of innovation?

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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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9 Stages for building innovation fitness

St Gottard Pass

Achieving innovation fitness is a journey- to get there we often have to manage the switchbacks as we build our capabilities and capacities to innovate.

  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

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Defining Innovation Capital

My definition of what makes up innovation capital:

New Core of Innovation Capital“Innovation capital is the sum of all that promotes the development and changes required for achieving innovation outcomes, within one organization or its broader networked environment, for market place advantage”

“These are made up of the resources, processes, knowledge and capabilities, that are constantly evolving and highly dynamic to build greater innovating capacity.”

“These build upon the capabilities of ‘sensing, seizing and transforming’ to build new capital that focus more upon the dynamics within innovation, that provide the true value creation in successful outcomes in final product, services or executing within business models”

We need to value both “stocks and flows” in equal attention to build innovation capital

The stock of innovation capital can render different productive value outcomes, is a bundle of the firm’s resources/assets and holds the renewal capabilities and they possesses attributes that make it a “strategic asset

Innovation capital is made up of many different assets that are often context specific and interconnected and this makes it hard to build without taking a broader, more holistic approach to developing your capabilities, capacities and competencies to innovate. You ‘map’ and align these to fit your strategic goals and aspirations.

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