Firstly what are Fitness Landscapes?
In any competitive situation, the survival of the fittest dominates (Darwinian). Knowing your innovation fitness is essential in this race. The question often raised is where do I focus my limited resource to achieve a better fitness to be successful at innovation?
Mapping out your innovation capabilities to the task at hand enables you to understand and relate to what is needed. Innovation Fitness Landscapes identify the opportunity spaces on where you need to focus your efforts- the appropriate resources to navigate the terrain. The greater the ‘fitness’ transforms your landscape potential into accelerating opportunities into final tangible outcomes.
These critical factors give higher value potential or ‘peaks’ that are more valuable to your needs. The more ‘rugged’ the landscape can also determine the greater fitness for the rate of innovation. The height of the peaks in these landscapes, the greater value placed upon them, illustrates how intense the innovation challenge is, and the number of critical peaks shows how diverse it potentially is.
The ability to identifying the emerging patterns provides the need to act and invest, making adaptive even exploratory walks, so as to move you to the higher fitness points where innovation viability is enhanced and needed to be so as to resolve the challenges faced. Greater fitness equates to more value creation potential. The ability to inter-couple landscape entities and exploit individual interactions alters your dynamics to innovate and improve repeatable cycle times.
Why Fitness Landscapes?
The pressing need for a firm is to integrate, build and reconfigure internal and external competencies and capabilities to address rapidly changing environments and its ability to achieve new, more innovative forms in rapid changing market conditions.
This calls for more ‘dynamic capability” to be achieved. The basic question that needs to be addressed is “what are our dynamic capabilities?” More importantly “which critical ones should we focus upon to improve our capabilities and competences to innovate?” Fitness landscapes provide the understanding of the existing position and ‘point’ to where to place your resource to improve your innovative capacity through understanding the dynamics of ALL the parts.