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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Nine steps leading to understanding your dynamic innovation capabilities

The Nine Steps needed for developing an understanding of your innovation capabilities to make them more dynamic.

This is my adopted approach to work through this in a systematic way.

No question, this is designed to make sure those involved take their time working through the different levels of understanding needed. A journey where you ‘transform’ your innovation capabilities is likely to be realistically over twelve months or more. So much does get in the way to deflect you, to block you, to divert you. This is the nature of organizations, any approach to making ‘transformational’ change, and this is what this is, needs to go at the right speed and deal with the obstacles and constraints in thoughtful, well designed and clear ways.

Why is this potentially a long journey?

Nine steps in building innovation capability

The steps in building innovation capability

Well to appreciate what you require you must firstly need to understand not only what you have but what it currently provides.

Then you need to construct a clear strategic position of where you want to go in your innovation activities and these are totally different and unique to each organization.

Any journey like this needs to be well thought through, considered for all its implications and potential impact and disruption to what is existing.

It is a journey you have to want to travel and your fitness levels need to be progressively built up.

So these steps may have ‘individual wrinkles’ to them but most probably follow the same innovation discovery pathway.

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Continuing the Innovation Journey- connecting the points

IFD 100 pc 1I’m constantly learning, reading, absorbing and interpreting what I understand and then attempting to provide my thoughts to others, those willing to listen about innovation!

Innovation capability building is my 100% focus from my work point of view.

I’m comfortable in much of the understanding of what makes up innovation, totally restless in so much more that is out there to explore and work through – I believe we need to significantly improve potential solutions, through experimentation and prototyping until they become recognized as relevant and applicable and become deeply embedded within our organizations as the accepted approach to innovation design and management.

Investigating, researching and reading all required a significant amount of time, all alongside needing to practice innovation, working to clients’ needs or pushing for their attention to changes taking place within the field of innovation management and what they needed to do about it.

Dynamic capability applied to innovation keeps gaining my increased attention

One area that caught my attention many years back, was the notion of “dynamic capability”, the organizations capacity to change its operation and adapt them to the environmental requirements in systematic and fruitful ways. Academic papers by Teece, Pisano and Shuen, by Eisenhardt and Martin and finally for me, Zollo and Winter, all fueled my thinking at that time.

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Orchestration is required for dynamic Innovation

IFD OrchestrationI had not recognized the incredible power of “orchestration” needed in innovation as much as I should have done. Of course it was there, actually all around us, going on all the time but it was not as ‘loud and clear’ in my thinking as it should have been. The blind spot had been my focus on pursuing this continual need to organize around innovation within an organization. Although this is as essential today there has been continued and rapid shifts taking place outside the walls and I was not capturing the dynamics of this well enough .

When we begin to want to orchestrate across external innovation networks we not only need to know ourselves extremely well, we also need to know what others can bring and what is missing. Networks are dynamic, the flow of knowledge, of capabilities and competencies all need somehow capturing. Recognizing this shift in my thinking, allowed me to pick up the baton again and begin to conduct all the different fragments and pull them together, into a different result.

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Do you know your innovation stock and its capital potential?

Knowing your innovation ‘stock’ and  ‘capital’ potential

IFD Stock and Capital

Knowing our stock and capital for innovation

If we really want to innovate well, we need to know our ‘innovation stock’. This is where the largest part of our wealth generating capital lies and where it’s potential can be best put to use. We are today increasingly valuing the knowledge perspective far more and with this we are increasingly recognizing the importance of the intellectual capital that makes up the organization.

I, and many others, would argue that we certainly need to re-think many of the old world value delivery systems to assess organizations and make much more of a concerted effort to make innovation that renders different, unique value outcomes, that keep pushing the boundaries of strategic advantage within any business.

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Moving along the path to innovation fitness

Here, we are searching for the dynamics within the innovation system, that once recognized, can be constructed for a more dynamic innovation fitness solution. We are looking to improve the innovation performance engine within organizations.

These dynamics are made up of the capabilities and competencies that reveal and clarify what is required as the relevant traversing points needed to achieve improving innovation success, to move you more effectively towards your strategic innovation goals and build a fitter, more responsive and dynamic organization around its needed innovation capacities.

The lead explorer to walk you across this innovation terrain is Paul Hobcraft

The Journey Roadmap for Traversing with Innovation Fitness Dynamics

By exploring and modelling the mutual dependencies you get to see how the existing and alternative future innovation system  will behave as you begin to map out and recognize the different emphasis points that make up your innovation system. You can begin to identify what are the more important dynamic ones that require a more dedicated focus and placing more of your resources behind, while others can evolve at their own pace or simply improve as they are far more dependent on the dynamic ones than you realized initially. These can get simply get ‘pulled along’ and rise equally in their performance.

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Innovation fitness dynamics – to engage with and recognize the need to change.

Working through the innovation fitness lense

Working through the innovation fitness lens

There is a continuing need is to build the management of innovation into a clear organizational capability, where innovation becomes a continuous effective innovation process.

To this end I have produced a conceptual model of what constitutes the ‘make up’ for providing an ongoing innovation performance engine- the innovation fitness landscape and the dynamics– that determine the appropriate capabilities and capacities available & required. I felt it needs a dedicated website to be the ‘go to’ source of reference. It is a work-in-progress so please recognize this when you visit it here: http://bit.ly/wX5q8R.

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