The moving space for innovation is to allow everyone to participate in being involved and wanting to get ‘fit.’ To do this you have to be opened up to a number of “possible paths” to allow it to flow and take hold. There is the need to explore multiple ways to learn and find the right pathway. This needs a dynamic social fabric to allow it to flow, it needs organizational engagement through active experimentation.
Previously I had discussed the difficulty of setting rules for innovation. What is required is a looser approach to mutual adaption and mutual adjustment. This arises from working through the same rules and resources to access, integrate, expand and recombine knowledge as part of everyday daily jobs. The understanding of absorptive capacity helps
Possible a starting point is through three simple rules and resources I came across but can’t find the reference to at present, regretfully but these are powerful in their intent and engagement:
- Mapping organizational and project innovation processes in the context of a shared responsibility for innovation relies on the rule of taking full responsibility that allows all “to see” the space of innovation that exists.
- Generalizing organizational and project knowledge in the context where knowledge is a central task relies on the rule of supporting routines for getting to that space and for keeping it open for all to share and explore. a) This helps people be collectively consciousness of what they know and how they now, build up and having expertise in are all dynamic routine activities to become competent experts, and b) it also fosters respect for knowing and leaning what others know and contributes to skills more towards understanding higher-level conceptual frameworks.
- Spiraling across cycles of adaptation in a context of constantly looking for new opportunities relies on the rule for constantly searching for new opportunities that creates an organization in which people are used to innovation, so that it becomes a second nature– “the chaos is that we are constantly innovating”. Also the rule provides people with vital resource of having ways to deal with inevitable surprises of innovation.
Emerging space of innovation
These could be particular kinds of new knowledge to adapt in manufacturing, products, and service provisions. The Manager’s role here is to prompt knowledge clusters and learning exposure- the more the better. This valuing knowledge provides for a propensity for a common language (emerging) and methodology. The use of knowledge also provides for outcomes, not ongoing. It brings common purpose and identity.
Emerging space could be to improve customer satisfaction by different delivery times for example and can also give a sense of possibilities by enacting and situating the knowledge appropriately top address this.
We need to find ways to combined general knowledge for wide awareness of available options, and specialized knowledge for assessing the systemic impact of specific options to move towards the development of “T-Shaped skills” being available constantly to apply to different problems. Choice can stay fluid and it gradually ‘firms up’ to allow greater exploration and evaluation as we ‘master’ knowledge and progressively experiment.
Lastly the ability to innovate is always with the people, it is not in a procedure , or through technology or the process. Innovation needs to be structured into everyday work to make it dynamic, not as it is found often today of being a static, boring environment. Building consciously in the capabilities to innovate with the intent for this to be more ‘as routine work’ then I do feel these three simple rules just seem to make such good sense. Managing innovation preciously is not possible. What do you think?