Become an innovation catalyst

How do you activate your organization to support your clients need for Innovation here and now, as well as for future needs? You need to become an innovation catalyst.

Lecturing at a digital safari for IT-Consultants Acando at EpiCenter in Stockholm, I focused my key note around a few central topics:

Customer focus as a passion, not a task

Breed and celebrate an innovative culture. This all begins with understanding that Innovation is about value creation. Without realized value, you are stuck with ideas. And ideas are likely to be worthless. Focusing on customer needs and how to deliver solutions to these will increase your organizations potential to innovate.

Infuse curiosity and courage. Curiosity will bring fantasy to play and with this comes solutions, needed as well as unexpected. To harvest from curiosity we must have courage, which comes from an ability to balance risk and opportunities. Systematic control, is funny enough a way to solve this.

However, leaders with a close to manic passion for customers best interests, will form innovative organizations.

Share. Share. Share

The likelihood that the best talents work in your organization is slim. The likelihood that your talents can create fantastic opportunities with others, in eco-systems is pretty good. Adopting solutions brought from outside of your team will create agility and opportunity for leaps, that is wider steps taken than the incremental we normally are organized to take. An open approach will foster cross functional opportunities.

Destruct and Restruct

Structures, processes (and gates) are there to support development, not the other way around. Just as lean is supposed to free resources to be used for development, development will shape lean organizations.

Organizing for Innovation we will se many shapes and solutions such as cells with certain innovation focus, team that moves like corporate nomads within and between organization (such as Googol) and well distributed innovation capabilities that flourish throughout the organization.

Overthrow the order

We tend to look at our offerings and develop these. Yes, this and business models. This is good. The latter offers tremendous returns. However combining various forms of innovation focuses, shapes totally new values for all stakeholders.

The challenge is to overthrow the order in which we focus on different types of innovation. Few do, but those that do, do well.

Lead. Not to suffer.

Clients have a need to satisfy its clients, who need to… all the way until a last user is actually satisfied. And then, a whole new process begins. The one, which involves all of us, sustaining the way we use and consume resources.

We are looking at more than one shift of business here. There will be plenty. No need to give up. Keep recruiting talents, collaborate and create new solutions. Make certain you are part of your clients eco-system. Ensure that you help the accelerate and act as catalysts for their innovation.

This post is also published in Swedish here

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