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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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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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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Understanding that innovation capital becomes your new core

Your new core is innovation capital

Much of my focus within my work is to move organizations towards recognizing and expanding their innovation capital or stock.

The hard part for many organizations is that many of the key elements of innovation capital consist of many intangibles as well as tangibles and this needs deeper understanding and appreciation. These intangibles are in most cases non-technological and embodied in the organizational routines and thinking of the employees.

It is focusing on building the stock of this innovation capital as well as making the flow more dynamic, ever evolving, adapting and changing to the different conditions being presented to the company.

Some of the critical elements that need to be considered can be described as follows:

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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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The value of fitness landscapes as part of your innovation awareness

I’d like you to work through these ‘thoughts’ to begin to evaluate the value of knowing your innovation fitness and what makes up your distinct dynamic capabilities:

Mapping out your innovation terrain

Mapping out your innovation terrain

By firstly mapping out your innovation capabilities to the task at hand enables you to understand and relate to what is needed – we call that the context for innovation.

Innovation Fitness Landscapes helps in this task by identifying the opportunity spaces on where you need to focus your efforts‐ and apply the appropriate resources to navigate the terrain.

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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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