In the current business environment, defined by some as the ‘Knowledge Age’, leadership interest is increasingly focused on Innovation and Knowledge Management development efforts. To date, these functions often operate along parallel, yet discrete, paths. As organizations seek new areas of growth, while further cutting costs there is an increasing need to build more effective partnerships in order to ensure ongoing success and drive additional business value.
There are incredible opportunities today to bring new things into the world. It is the hallmark of the creative artist to create something that did not exist before, but this generative capacity is not limited to creative artists. Entrepreneurs and corporations conceive and create new products, services and platforms that would not have existed but for their efforts. Our increasingly complex and volatile world needs this creative ability now more than ever, especially in our leaders.
We’ve covered some essential ground to help you prepare your innovation journey, and now it’s time to put these concepts into action. The innovation formula addresses the very specific tasks that have to be accomplished for innovation to emerge from your organization not only as a matter of luck or at random, but through a concentrated effort that results in sustained innovation performance. Here you will find the Taking Action steps along with 25 additional suggestions that we hope will help you to think and plan creatively and productively about how to make innovation a reality in your organization.
As you, the leader/entrepreneur, embark on the pursuit of innovation, there are a handful of your personal skills and talents that will contribute enormously to the success and joyfulness of your journey. These skills are of course not just specific to innovation, and as a successful business person you probably already have well-developed capabilities in many of these areas. Nevertheless, it’s well worth spending a few minutes to review the key abilities where your refined skill set will result in enormous benefits.
The possibility of innovation is born when people transcend the beliefs that limit their thinking, and engage in the search for new and better ways. When people are doing this consistently and throughout your organization, you will see a pattern begin to emerge which you will discover is the dawning of the innovation culture.
In the disciplined and structured process of innovation we search for unmet needs and unfulfilled desires, and when we think we find them we have to construct a sort of a mental map that defines why our proposed solution will be better than whatever currently exists. We may use the business model map to show how we’re using this innovation to move up and to the right, or we may use the customer value ladder to show how this innovation provides differentiated value. And once we’re convinced that our idea is a really good one, the next step is often prototyping.
Since we’re obliged to pursue innovation in a competitive marketplace, speed matters. In fact, it matters a great deal, for your competitors aren’t waiting, and you cannot afford to allow them to get too far ahead. The faster you recognize new trends, threats, and opportunities, the faster great ideas get discovered and created, the faster they get to market, the faster you earn money, build brand, and extend the relevance and reach of your firm into the future.
Is Germany loosing the connection to today’s speed of change? In his new book “Germany’s Innovation Jam – How we create a new generation of founders,” Author Jürgen Stäudtner looks at German innovation pitfalls and corresponding resolutions.
It is the duty of management to ensure that the human capital they are responsible for are working productively. Appropriate recognition of excellent work by employees is a huge part of having a happy and productive workforce with less turnover. If employees are starting to work less efficiently, it may be time to reinvent management practices to rejuvenate your company culture.
The world is changing, yet people constantly assume, incorrectly, that tomorrow will be like yesterday. When business leaders make this mistake, the outcomes are generally bad because opportunities are lost. Competitive advantage is gained with the ability to transform insights into useful innovations by seeing the unseen. In this chapter excerpt of Agile Innovation, Langdon Morris explains how ethnography drives better innovation at a top-five U.S. financial services company.
The essence of agility is the ability to respond to new and different conditions. You cannot continue repeating the same old operating formula long beyond its utility or you will be left behind. Are you prepared to adapt to the profuse variety of new circumstances with new tactics and strategies? The principles of Agile that we examine in the next three chapter excerpts of Agile Innovation will help you understand what you need to do.
The four simple axioms in the “The Manifesto for Agile Software Development” express the core values for getting work done efficiently. In the last chapter excerpt of Agile Innovation we looked at individuals and interactions as well how to create a rapid working prototype. Today we’ll continue discussing the next elements: collaboration and carrying out change in a corporate setting.
Innovation appears prominently as part of almost any company’s strategy. Why then is it so hard to make it repeatable, scalable and lasting success? Scholars name key elements that bring innovation in sync, such as leadership, strategy and governance. Often, though, it’s not what organizations aren’t doing that causes a problem, but what they are doing—they’re tripping themselves up.
Have you seen this equation: innovative = creative? Novelty always comes from “outside the box,” right? It’s a land of confusion to many, who then conclude they are just not the creative type. As a result, organizations lose out because being innovative is but one of a myriad of ways to being creative. All people can be creative—in their own way.
Engagement of teams is a must-have when addressing the key issues related to sustainable innovation programs. In the second of a series of articles focused on Innovation Culture, we are going to share our views about the way organizations should stimulate and encourage the creation of teams truly committed with innovation. Besides the more usual ad hoc requirements regarding team and individual creative performance, having a clear focus on team management is essential to achieve a more balanced and sound innovation program.