Successful Innovation

It’s a gut feeling we have; To achieve bold moves we need to work in new ways. Whilst we strive at finding the best ways to steer and process Innovation, in it self a process, we feel that best accomplishments come from somewhat least organized situations. But is it true? How do we achieve successful Innovation? A study workshop we did in the Innovation Pioneers Network showed a few interesting pointers. Here are a few personal (philosophical) thoughts about this.

To process a process, in itself says it all. We focus on controlling risk. The risk of loss. We play not to loose, instead of playing for the win. This is why we need to ensure that we support and create drive, not the opposite. Optimizing risks in relation to stakes, needs, urgency and position is a must for organizations. Optimizing also means we must migrate. In the study of successful cases of Innovation amongst leading organizations from various industries, some common nominators were found.

..our processes are set around stages, not gates

Three pillar stones

I have in an earlier post suggested that successful Innovation is based on three pillar stones;

The known

The unknown

The resource allocation

Within the known, we set out towards strategical focus areas in our business plans. We aim at taking on cases that we can and will harbor towards success. We focus on stuff we want to see come true. So, key here is communicating where we are heading and why. How we aim at utilizing our assets, off- as well as on balance sheet, to create value for our clients and internal markets in new ways. Here, also the ability of the intrapreneur comes into play. An intrapreneur whom can package and sell the vision, will be more likely to assemble a team of competencies to master the development towards a lady offering.

Within the unknown, comes the fostering of curiosity. The better we understand the need of our ”users” and ”customers”, the better we can service them. The more customer focused we had our projects, the better they turned out. Navigating in the unknown includes insight work as well as piloting a (least) viable offering and studying the behaviors of our target audience.

The resource allocation comes down to basics. Boot strapping, start-up style, will help your teams develop in one way, on the other hand lack of resources will slow down and diminish strategic attention. Invest enough, but kill the ordinary ways of working. Don’t keep innovators in the corporate reporting trap. Let them act and act freely within certain controlled environments. These teams need management attention though. The more the better. Attention, not detention that is.

IMG_9673Basically it is all about putting the right people to work, with the right resources. And give them time. Time to fail and find new ways. Time to take that giant leap we so much need.

We all know this. But discussing and sharing experiences in one room, gave us confidence to further drive change within our own organizations.

It might feel completely wild to dis-organize to achieve better control and drive. A bit like when you stare at your two feet before plunging into a bungy jump. How on earth will I make it? The only difference is, that this bungy jump is not falling 300 feet; its just like taking one step forward onto new solid ground.

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