It is all innovation talk, not much real doing.

so-much-talking-innovationAll companies talk about innovation and its growing importance but it seems to me very few succeed in actually doing it on a repeatable scale.

So have you ever asked what inhibits innovation? What would drive innovation success? What aspects of innovation are critical to have so innovative growth can be achieved? Where should a company place its emphasis to gain both an improving impact on its performance and strengthen its innovation capabilities?

Have you ever evaluated your capabilities, competencies, and capacities to innovation in light of a changing landscape?

One where competitors have gained new ground or you have been confronted with a more disruptive product that threatens your established position or has even the potential to threaten your very existence? Your ability to respond to changing positions are often determined by knowing which capabilities and capacities you can call upon and leverage for finding new solutions that accelerate and innovate your position to respond and stay competitive.

If we take the view:

“Innovation is holistic in nature, it needs to be addressed in this way. It covers the entire range of activities necessary to provide value to customers and a satisfactory return to the business. Although creating much of our innovation environment cannot be touched, heard, tasted or seen it can be felt, it is driven by the belief and commitment of our people and how they look towards innovating. It is probably best described as a pervasive attitude that allows business to see beyond the present and create the future. In short, innovation is the engine of change and in today’s fiercely competitive environment resisting change is dangerous.

 The key driver of the organization’s ability to change is innovation. However, simply deciding that the organization has to be innovative is not sufficient. That decision must be backed by actions that create an environment in which people are so comfortable with innovation that they create it”

The difficulty for many is that innovation is a complex process that has many intangibles within the total mix to manage. Management today is far happier managing the ‘harder’ aspects of business, not the ‘softer’ more intangible ones, where innovation often lies. That needs challenging and changing

There are many variables or factors for ‘innovation success’ and often organizations suffer from the inability to sustain innovation over time. There is a failure to fully appreciate or recognize that there are many interdependencies that surround innovation. Often ‘selective’ activities only generate limited success but sustaining innovation is often elusive without a more comprehensive, holistic approach.

Today’s challenges are knowing your Fitness to Innovate.

Firm resources are scarce; we still don’t understand the ‘dynamics’ of innovation, the interdependency of the parts. Which parts have the greater impact, which ones are not so important, they just need to be maintained?

This is what I want to change, I want to establish a way we can understand and build the right capabilities and competencies to meet your innovation aspirations. This needs to address questions like, 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?

Finding practical capability identification requires a given structured approach:

Taking a practical approach we can begin to map out existing and future innovation capabilities and needs

  1. Identification and classification of existing capabilities
  2. Identification and classification of required future capabilities
  3. Then, prioritization of these capabilities in light of the core capability criteria and strategic goals.
  4. The Gap analysis involves a self-assessment and external clarification and comparison

We never start from blank innovation canvases.

None of us has a ‘blank’ innovation canvas, we have a present position and from our need from our innovation activity, we make choices on how we are going to change, to move from one position to a different one- traversing the landscape to achieve better solutions to meet different goals.

We do need to seriously understand the building of our innovation Fitness Landscape

Recently Ideascale has started to equally raise the importance of knowing your Innovation Fitness and is providing its view on an assessment. I welcome them into this arena for mapping out innovation fitness. They quite rightly state “getting fit as an organization has many benefits”. It is about investing in a fitness plan.

We are taking different approaches to determining innovation fitness, theirs is more general organizational fitness or program ready, mine is building sustaining and dynamic capabilities and capacity for innovation and your future but the critical message by both Ideascale and myself is this vital need for knowing your innovation fitness.Thinking fitness either way is better than none at all

I encourage you to think through ‘fitness’ and what it means to you. You have plenty of resources on this site to explore. Once you have a clearer view on what you want to achieve, then reach out and make contact with your choice of fitness coaches, they can help provide you a better innovating future.






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