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

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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Understanding the dynamics within your innovation system

Recognizing Dynamics and Building Innovation Fitness

Recognizing Dynamics and Building Innovation Fitness

The work of David Teece is hugely influential on exploring dynamic capabilities.  It was my reading of one of his early papers, published in 1997 (with Gary Pisano and Amy Shuen) that got me started down the dynamics path and my quest to identify the innovation landscape required by each organization to become innovation fit.

Teece’s concept of dynamic capabilities is a theory about the source of corporate agility: the capacity (1) to sense and shape opportunities and threats, (2) to seize opportunities by mobilizing your resources to capture new value from those opportunities, and (3) to maintain competitiveness through enhancing, combining, protecting, and, when necessary, reconfiguring the business enterprise’s intangible and tangible assets by transforming them for continuous renewal. This makes organizations potentially dynamic.

Recognizing and adapting to today’s and tomorrows challenges.

The challenge is how to position or reposition today’s resources for tomorrow.

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Knowing where your innovation fitness comes from

Facing a Darwinian World

Facing a Darwinian World

Are we in a more Darwinian world perhaps?

I’d suggest that today innovation is caught up in the survival race, where the bolder ones are more innovation fit and pulling further ahead. We need many more organizations to get out of this survival trap and exploiting innovation in bolder ways, become fitter in their innovating purpose.

So much of what we do actually is ‘static’ work, activities that are simply repeating what we have done time and time again, gaining us little new knowledge and offering poor value creating worth. These activities on their own keeps us happily ‘treading water’ and does the job of locking us comfortably into the ‘efficient and effectiveness clan mindset that most business organizations like to be ^keep us all constantly working within.

The harsh reality is this is becoming a very crowded, increasing uncomfortable place to be, as we reduce our capabilities to take risk, too invest, to take those decisions that create more radical innovation. If we don’t offer value creation, we become increasingly unattractive and not regarded as essential, simply disposable. The more we play ‘safe’ the more we run the risk of being disrupted. We are failing to leverage much of the liberating power within innovation. Is our business world today is it so predictable?  No, it is well and truly ‘dynamic’ and evolving.

There is an awful lot of creative destruction going on and I’ve also written previously about the Innovation Era: Creative Destruction or Destructive Creation where the replacement rate is constantly speeding up, we are facing more uncertainly and incoherence than ever.

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