I think we all recognize that innovation is made up of both tangible and intangible assets. It is the marriage of these two that makes innovation a unique capability to manage in well-structured ways. It is the people engaged in innovation activity that make it work. Everything else, the process, structures, technologies and management systems are just the contributing enablers.
The important point though is successful innovation has core elements and processes regardless of industry, form, or type of innovation, we are pursuing. Much of the difference though is in its varying degree’s based on these core elements.
Our search must be to find those core elements that make up the dynamic capabilities within our innovation activities to leverage and strengthen them. We need to build an organizations ability to innovation continuously, making it a sustaining competence.
We, in our organizations strive to achieve distinct competitive advantage, and innovation is one of those real contribution points this can do this. Achieving competitive advantage is increasingly transient.The need is to make the innovation capabilities and capacities a distinctive, not easy to copy, unique set that continues to be challenged and refreshed to meet the constant changing conditions we find in today’s market .
These capabilities and capacities are shaped by the context and content of innovation and this constantly change by the shifts taking place within the organizations position (market, price, competitive stance) and its choice of evolutionary paths it has decided to take or needs to take.
Innovation needs to be a constant evolutionary path, nothing stands still, it is constantly changing.
Innovation and all its ‘make-up’ is dynamic, it requires this constant evolving. This is an area of serious under-development at present, when you compare this with the continued focus on investing in physical assets or the consistent building of many other skills required within organizations. Yet innovation, the source of fresh growth remains significantly under-invested in, within the majority of organizations. This needs changing.
We need to know what makes up our innovation competencies, capabilities and capacities that give us today’s performance and then we need to decide and focus upon those that will give us a different, more dynamic performance for our future. We can’t stand still, we must look to evolve but lets do this in thoughtful, systematic ways, not in those knee-jerking ways so often seen. We need to know all of what makes up our core.