Most people agree on the importance of sustainability in innovation, so why is it difficult to deliver? In this article, we’ll explore three hurdles to sustainable innovation: it’s often not considered by innovators themselves as they plan their projects; sustainability is not framed as an exciting and imaginative opportunity; and that sustainable innovation may not fit into a company’s ongoing processes.
This time of year is full of meetings with leadership and teams in order to help them prepare for the year ahead. People discuss financial goals, sustainability goals, profitability targets, customer success metrics, and more, but there are also numerous research & development teams out there who are coordinating their annual innovation strategy who struggle in their process to create a cohesive innovation strategy.
In-house innovation programs are an emerging phenomenon. Many businesses and government organizations are formalizing processes around the innovation practice in order to keep pace with competition and the rapidly changing expectations of the public.
In the past few years, the mass digitization of business and society has pressured every organization – large and small, private and public – to innovate at unprecedented speed. This digital revolution has incited a new and disruptive era of hyper competition. It has accelerated the pace of change exponentially. It has forced companies to reinvent themselves. And it has utterly disrupted institutions and their cultures, upended entire markets, and hatched new business models that challenge traditional ways of operating.
In view of creating more competitive regions and industry sectors, innovation capabilities of SMEs play a central role. SMEs are strong economic drivers in many countries, and their ability to innovate will determine the health of national and regional economies in the future. A key support for SMEs in their innovation efforts are public innovation support programmes.
Although innovation programs are becoming more and more embedded within the enterprise, it is still very common to find organizations that are just starting to experiment with formal, continuous innovation programs. Many IdeaScale clients that come to us are quietly launching pilot programs as proof-of-concept initiatives that will confirm innovation value for senior leadership.
You’ve heard it a thousand times: companies need to innovate in order to survive. The Googles and the Apples of the world are doing it- Google famously used to require employees to dedicate 20% of their time to innovation. But what exactly does it take to create a sustainable innovation program, especially if you are in an industry that is traditionally risk averse?
Innovation is a word that’s been heard on the lips of more CEOs, read in more broadsheet papers, and detailed in more business magazines in the last ten months than ever before. It’s well regarded that those businesses that fail to innovate risk death; consider the sad fates of longstanding companies like Woolworths, Polaroid, Blockbuster, and Borders over the last ten years. But how, as an individual, can you incorporate innovation and creative thinking into your everyday working life, all while keeping up with the already manic pace of modern business?
Innovation has become a bit of a business buzzword. Every CEO and CIO worth their salt wants to be seen to be on the forefront, bringing new products and services to a market. However, it doesn’t always go to plan, and rushing in to things head first without the proper due diligence can land a company in hot water.
The origins of ‘crowdsourcing’ lie very much in the business world. The term is widely accepted to have been coined by Wired magazine in 2006, in an article analysing how businesses were beginning to outsource tasks, usually handled by an individual to a larger number of people, in the expectation it would gain faster results for a cheaper price. Since then, business use of crowdsourcing techniques has become more established. Crowdfunding, for example, has become a common way of raising funds, while Spigit Engage customers provide a great example of how businesses are applying crowdsourcing to the innovation process.
Questionable or confusing job titles have long provided fleeting office lunch-break entertainment. A quick search online brings up innumerable lists, featuring classics such as: Senior Information Adviser (otherwise known as a librarian), Wet Leisure Assistant (lifeguard) and Ideation Director (advertising). In this article Harvey Wade, Director, Innovation Strategy at Mindjet, discusses why a job title formerly found at wannabe creative companies is now playing an increasingly recognised and integral role in business.
Innovation initiatives have a habit of causing excitement and expectation; the organisation is trying something different and wanting to do new things. Senior management are anticipating the brand new shiny ideas, and front-line employees can’t wait to be rid of their daily frustrations. So what could go wrong? However, in all this excitement, there’s a group that is usually neglected in the engagement strategy – the middle managers. Often it’s assumed that these managers will support all the company initiatives. It’s their role to toe the line and make sure others do. They’ll buy in surely? Actually, they don’t.
Surfing the crowd has hit the mainstream…Young, agile firms have always been known for their disruptive ideas. Increasingly, enterprises are keen to foster a similar innovation culture so that great concepts can surface even in a company with thousands of employees. The challenge comes when there are many layers of management and frontline workers are struggling to navigate the corporate hierarchy so their ideas are heard by the leadership team. In a bid to transform its business, Microsoft recently announced it would cut thousands of middle management jobs to ease the flow of information and decision making, ‘no longer respecting tradition but only innovation’.
November 25, 2014 | By: Bjorn Axling, Gustaf Ahlenius, Daniel Roos, Rick Eagar | In: Organization & Culture
Driven by the need to respond to global hyper-competition and the increasing clock speed of technological change, companies are relying heavily on their R&D functions to accelerate innovation while maintaining tight budgets. However, organizational structures for R&D in large international companies are often sub-optimal and act as a major barrier to performance improvement. In order to successfully optimize R&D’s contribution to business value, companies need to address the three key dimensions of structure, governance and process. From our extensive work with the R&D functions of leading global companies, we have identified eight imperatives to ensure a successful transformation across these dimensions.
While many people believe that process and structure stifle creativity – the center of gravity for sourcing and inspiring innovation – this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, planning ahead streamlines the process and surfaces any potential bottlenecks ahead of time, resulting in a program that is more apt to produce meaningful outcomes and return on investment for organizations.