I have been reviewing my work on innovation fitness landscapes, in the designing and understanding of the dynamic capabilities organizations constantly need to find, evolve and establish for sustaining successful innovation. Those that are more essential to manage the growing complexity in moving towards achieving successful and sustaining innovation outcomes.
I felt it was time to make a restatement.
Let me restate what I am focusing upon here, in this work and why it has a separate, dedicated website to allow me to evolve and share in this discovery and thinking through journey.
So my hypothesis, hopefully covered off in this initial explanation is made on the basis of growing research and evidence, as an investigative point for further work-to-be-done in thinking and constructing around the plotting or mapping out specific innovation landscapes that deliver the innovation capabilities needed.
This work is now at a point it needs additional help to take this out further in a testing and experimental environment and I am looking for one or more ‘willing’ organizations to be the pilot for this to validate and further improve from the learning.
The Challenge I’m trying to Solve
Knowing what are the critical factors for innovation and their dependence for sustaining innovation success are becoming a vital necessity to understand so an organization can place the appropriate resources behind them. The question is, which are critical, which naturally occur when others begin to be put into place, which seem to have limited or no real effect on changing the dynamics of innovation?
Knowing these and having these clearer shown as a ‘return on impact/investment’ (ROII) has real business value. Today, we lack a clear system model that brings the critical innovation factors out and gives them their appropriate values, and then can equally provide the ability to model different future states and conceive future scenarios through different impact-investments.
We need to recognize Resources are scarce and need constant renewal
We still don’t understand the ‘dynamics’ of innovation, the interdependency of the parts. Which parts have greater impact, which are not so important? Innovation is still not treated company-wide in a holistic way as recognition of the dependencies is poorly understood. This is what needs to change.
What and where do you place your resources to gain greater impact? What is important to recognize as needing additional ‘weight and focus’, what capability and competencies need to have a stronger emphasis and why? How can we identify these, make the innovation process more dynamic yet these embed constantly as routines? What would happen if we ignore certain innovation aspects, what would give greater impact to our business?
Why do I think Fitness Landscapes will help?
The pressing need for a firm is to integrate, build and reconfigure internal and external competencies/ capabilities to address rapidly changing environments and its ability to achieve new, more innovative forms in market position.
This calls for more ‘dynamic capability” to be achieved, to be available and constantly being built up as they are in flux and change. The basic question that needs to be addressed is “what is our dynamic capabilities and more importantly which critical ones should we focus upon to improve our capabilities and competences to innovate?”
The solution I am looking for offers Innovation Fitness landscapes by provide the understanding of the existing position and ‘point towards’ where to place your resource to improve your innovative capacity to adjust and deliver the capabilities and capacities to meet the challenges on hand. Equally to project and forecast the gaps needing solutions to bridge.
Fitness Landscapes as a solution has its roots in Darwin.
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 we focus our limited resource to achieve a better fitness to be successful at innovation?
Mapping out innovation capabilities and capacities
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 and apply the appropriate resources to navigate the terrain and move towards greater and more successful innovation outcomes. The greater the ‘fitness’ and peaks obtained transforms your landscape potential into accelerating opportunities and increasing tangible outcomes.
These critical factors that are identified give higher value potential or ‘peaks’ that are more valuable to your needs. The more ‘rugged or diverse’ the landscape can also determine the greater fitness needed for a higher rate of innovation. The strength of the peaks in these landscapes illustrates how intense the innovation challenge is, and the number of critical peaks shows how diverse it potentially is to have resolved as contributing factors.
The ability to identifying the emerging patterns provides the need to act and invest, you begin to make adaptive walks, so as to move you to the higher fitness points where innovation viability is enhanced and understanding is needed to be in place 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 and provides for increasing options to explore.
Moving towards a solution
I want to take this (pioneering) work out for testing and experimenting, to calibrate its framework so it delivers a strong rigor and validation to take out and scale further. This is why I believe I am at a point of needing some invested time by a client or two to work on this with me in this testing, validation environment.
The solution is a framework that shows promise but it needs to go further from theory into practice. What are the mutual dependencies, how the innovation ‘system’ behaves, what are its more important impact factors which are weaker and what should be considered in the ‘best’ innovation environment?
The key is to know what are those capability points that are dynamic and highly relevant to the delivery of innovation, and dampening down the ones that are less so. A greater innovation fitness equates to more value creation potential as clear distinctive capabilities emerge as points of greater value, these are the dynamic points of your innovation need.