Who Gets To Innovate?
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Who Gets To Innovate?

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Innovation is an uphill battle for individuals within a company. The general impulse to internally sell one's expert creativity is simply not enough to overcome most management cultures. But what if ...

Innovation is an uphill battle for individuals within a company. The general impulse to internally sell one's expert creativity is simply not enough to overcome most management cultures. But what if the organization knew how to innovate? How hard could that be?

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Who Gets To Innovate? Who Gets To Innovate? Presentation Transcript

  • Who Gets To Innovate? An archestra notebook. © 2013 Malcolm Ryder / archestra
  • Problem: Innovation is Inconvenient Innovation is a practice, not a skill. Innovation is important as a performance advantage; other than that, it’s just interesting. For most innovators, chances of follow-through are… not so good.
  • The Innovator’s Gauntlet 1. The business goal of innovation is to translate market opportunity to market performance 2. Adopting externally sourced innovations is not a new business idea: e.g., M&A 3. Producing internally originated innovations is also not a new business idea: e.g., R&D 4. Anyone can do research; development is almost always subject to a different degree of management 5. Development responds to business pressures in market performance 6. Research responds to business pressures in market opportunity 7. Research is intended to create opportunities that did not already exist 8. In the research stage, an innovation usually has no value outside of being a “problem solution” • The importance of a problem predetermines the expected base value of its solution
  • The Innovator’s Gauntlet 9. Outside of tackling a known problem, an innovation in the research stage mainly has value as a strategic change • The presence of a strategy predetermines the expected base value of the change • Innovations not associated with a strategy are likely to be ignored 10. To capture the solution or change, research delivers a concept as a design 11. Relatively few individuals are good designers 12. The most valuable researchers are the ones that are also good designers or that work well with an available designer 13. A designer is responsible for forming the innovation into something usable 14. Designers are often credited with the innovation because of the high importance of usability 15. The functional owner of the strategy needs to become the primary sponsor of the innovation’s development 16. The full production lifecycle of an innovation requires the design to be built at least as a model or prototype
  • Innovation is important as a performance advantage. Other than that, it is just interesting. Is the performance management system the biggest impediment to innovators? “Performance” is a label meaning one or both of two things: • Level of benefit that an effort produced versus what it used • Final proximity to a target outcome achieved on a production allowance Unfortunately, those two meanings, which translate to ROI and Productivity, leave out the primary purpose of innovation: • creating new ways of doing things, that leave behind the constraints of the old. Unless the difference in constraints is an advantage for ROI or Productivity, the “new” is mostly just interesting, while the “change” is mostly a risk. Many performance “management” systems are 50% predicated on risk-avoidance. Hmmm...
  • For most innovators, chances of follow-through are… not so good. 1. The business goal of innovation is to translate market opportunity to market performance 2. Adopting externally sourced innovations is not a new business idea: M&A 3. Producing internally originated innovations is also not a new business idea: essentially, R&D 4. Anyone can do research; development is almost always subject to a different degree of management Chances are, somewhere in the gauntlet, you can spot the point where your innovation might stall, stray, or stop cold. 5. Development responds to business pressures in market performance 6. Research responds to business pressures in market opportunity 7. Research is intended to createno one understands it yet. Perhaps Maybe opportunities that did not already exist 8. the right people can’t see it yet. Possibly, it went to the wrong center of attention. of being might be a different innovation competing with it too In the research stage, an innovation usually has no value outsideThere a “problem solution” • The importance of a problem predetermines cares thatbase value of its solution you? successfully. And, who the expected it is coming from 9. Outside of tackling a known problem, an innovation in the research stage mainly has value as a strategic change than you intended? • InnovationsWill anyone be able to both to be ignoredand reproduce it in business-as-usual operation? not associated with a strategy are likely produce 10. To capture the solution or change, it actually change thearight thing(s) in the right way at the right time? And, does research delivers a concept as design. • The presence of a strategy predetermines thewants a differentthe changeit What if your supporter expected base value of use of 11. Relatively few individuals are good designers 12. The most valuable researchers are the ones that are also good designers or that work well with an available designer 13. A designer is responsible for forming the innovation into something usable 14. Designers are often credited with the innovation because of the high importance of usability 15. The functional owner of the strategy needs to become the primary sponsor of the innovation’s development 16. The full production lifecycle of an innovation requires the design to be built at least as a model or prototype
  • Solutions…
  • Breaking Through There are already thousands of articles and consultancies that advise you on why known efforts have failed. But your idea and your organization could both be dissimilar to most of those failures. The point is, you must determine why your innovation might work where you are. Otherwise, failures occurring elsewhere don’t mean anything about you. Each of the points in the innovation gauntlet includes a potential showstopper for the would-be innovator. Being supported as an innovator requires sponsorship. Researchers and Sponsors need to find each other, with the same assertiveness found in the external marketing of the business. Innovators are likely to have sponsors depending on: • how close the research concept is to strategy, and… • how soon the design is likely to be buildable Note – most potential innovators are: researchers who do not have sponsors, not builders who do not have funding.
  • Profiling the Innovation The value of the innovation must be assessed by type; at the high level, innovations are either “breakthroughs” (solutions) or “game-changers” (inflections). Assessment must also be done within the context of a given organizational boundary (e.g. enterprise, department, domain, community). Management’s perception of the innovation’s value is constrained by strategy, resources, and time within the designated boundary. Given any designated boundary, the following aspects are typically true for the innovation. Research Design Build Probable default Profile Game-changer May be understood only by small audiences Externally competitive Adoption incented by scenarios • • • • Highly strategic Unpredictable timing Benefit-sensitive Cross-functionally Influential Breakthrough May be invisible to external parties Internally competitive Adoption incented by demonstration • • • • Largely tactical Prescribed and limited window Cost-sensitive Operationally specific impact © 2013 Malcolm Ryder / archestra “Innovation X”
  • The value of Innovation is in the business goal: the significance of its deliverable difference. More strategic GREATER DIFFERENTIATION TIME TO MARKET Concept impact SEGMENT CREATOR SEGMENT LEADER SEGMENT STANDARD BRAND STRENGTH LESS REDUNDANCY IN PORTFOLIO PRODUCTIVITY Less strategic The target payoffs of innovations are varied and distinct criteria for justifying support of the innovation lifecycle. Any given innovation may address one or more of the criteria. The build of the innovation’s design must keep the innovation’s concept on the path to an important target. Adequate support of the innovation requires both sponsorship and management. Shown at left: examples of business goals in relation to business timing and strategy. sooner later Development timing © 2013 Malcolm Ryder / archestra
  • SPONSORSHIP reallocates permission and/or resources to accommodate innovators Concept impact More strategic Less strategic Proceed under LOB management • Join tiger team Proceed under program management • Organize effort in project portfolio Proceed under product management • Incubate in a Center of Excellence Proceed under LOB management • Craft an initiative re: product portfolio Proceed under LOB management • Include in product roadmap Proceed under program management • Collaborate with another existing effort Proceed under task-load management • Make allowance in personal workload sooner Proceed under product management • Absorb into another existing effort later Development timing • • • • LOB management Product management Program management Task-load management Most organizations have a variety of mechanisms intended to host, with accountability, the ongoing attention to internal production options. The accountability provides tracking of the current priority and direction achieved, and maintains awareness of the related requirements. Without these same hosts, innovations don’t continue on through their lifecycle. Shown at left: examples of how such hosts and innovators together support the innovator’s effort. Some innovations, as conditions change around them, may navigate multiple hosts. © 2013 Malcolm Ryder / archestra
  • The Who Cares Test • An organization that has a policy of promoting innovation will “make good” on the promotion by explicitly managing innovations across their lifecycles (research, design and build). This will be reflected both under strategic planning and in portfolio evaluation of its products and solutions. • The requirement for follow-through of that policy is a practice that solicits and orchestrates assertive navigation of potential innovators amongst the organization’s options for sponsorship and resourcing. • Innovators eligible for attention and support need to be able to articulate how their concept represents actionable opportunity that does not already exist in the established practice of the organization.
  • Solved: Where the Practice Resides Getting the innovation opportunity into practice should be a business development function. This specifically means that the organization is systematically looking for the innovator. The business development management team should be prospecting throughout the organization to solicit and vet research. Any researcher should be able to engage the business development process and the business development management team, to have the opportunity to review the organization’s current value mapping and have an interview regarding how to describe and assess their research. The business development management team should maintain a portfolio of innovation research, which should be continually available for review-on-demand by strategists and executives. The critical decision to generate a design from the research concept should be recommended by business development, who should then become an agent representing the recommended research to hosts, sponsors and other operations managers. Design and build decisions are not frequently under the control of the researcher. Credit for design and build should be accountable under Project Management and Operations. All highly-rated innovations should be recognized proxies of “contributions” that would factor into performance evaluations and assignments of the researcher.