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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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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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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Combining four foundation pillars.

wealth

We need to think about recognizing the ‘combining effects’ of four foundation pillars; of value creation (vc), business models (bm), intellectual capital assets (ica) and innovation capital (ic). It is the dynamics within the multiple combinations that will generate the future wealth creation we need.

We are in need of having a better understanding of the integrated value focal points of these four pillars combining, they need connecting so we can build the supporting structures and place the roof of need, our wealth creating one, to give us a new potential of harnessing our innate abilities to be creative. These four pillars offer perhaps a new core, a new transforming power, they make our activities connected and dynamic.

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Struggling with counting ALL the sums of our capital

Recognizing the different capitals

Organizations have been focused for far too long around the importance of financial capital. It determines and drives organizations destinies. We are caught in a constant focus upon our achieving a return on our (financial) capital as our measuring criteria. Organizations strive for improving their ROCE, RONA, IRR,  EVA and a host of other financial measures.

As Clayton Christensen has been arguing the agenda of organizations begins and ends with the “search for numbers”. I think there is a time for changing this, we need to search for the knowledge that makes-up eventually the numbers.

There has been a distant voice for some time putting forward the need to appreciate and value the other capitals sitting within organizations. Much of the discussions have been housed under the term “intellectual capital” which denotes the sum of knowledge made up and contributed by our human assets, our organizational structures and our relationships that are developed.

These are the ‘capitals’ that transform into economic value through organization action. It is the financial capital that simply finances this.

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