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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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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Understanding Your Innovation Capital- Well Do You?

A new core Innovation CapitalIf someone came to you and asked the question: “tell me what makes up your financial capital?” I expect you could answer this fairly comfortably. It might need a little added help from your finance department but you could produce and show significant details that we are all ‘schooled’ to understand and generally have accepted, as under common definitions and standard practice.

Our businesses are measured constantly on their financials, we produce a constant flow of reporting documents that provide useful insight and allow for a more informed judgement by present and future investors on the health of the company.

We are ‘wedded’ to our financials and ignore the real value within our organizations of all the other critical capitals that generate and strengthen the business, yet these are the MOST valuable to leverage.

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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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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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