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

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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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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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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