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Innovation Organization


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What should a next era innovation organization look like. What types of jobs will it do, what roles and proficiencies are needed? Answering these questions will be critical to a company's innovation efforts.

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Innovation Organization

  1. 1. Organizational Designs that Work Discovery Incubation Proficiencies • Showrunner – Discovery process coordinator • Technological Polymath – Broad aptitude • Social Empath – Design thinker • Network Connector – Community/Individual Explorer Proficiencies • Intrapreneur – Startup exec. & visionary champion • Domain Connectors – internal and external networking • Experienced Operators – getting things done • Technical Enthusiasts – agile developers
  2. 2. Innovation Organization – Framework Components • Job-to-do – The jobs the Innovation Team needs to do to get the required results • Proficiencies – What is needed to get a job done – Capabilities, skills, experience • Roles – Who does a job – Segmentation of jobs and proficiencies • Personas/Mindsets – The types of people best suited to a role – The segments of motivations and mindsets • Positions – Job description – a statement of a Role profile that can be filled by a specific person • Person – A profile of proficiencies that fits a position – Convergence on an actual person Not included in this version of the framework
  3. 3. Not included in this version of the framework Framework Proficiency Skills and competencies Person Sum total of motivations, behaviors, personality etc. JTD Jobs to Do are how innovation gets done Role Roles are collections of jobs done by people or things Persona & Mindset How people think and behave Position Role profile that a person can fulfil Roles require proficiencies People have personas and a mindset A role gets a set of jobs done Team Synergy How does a person enhance the team Mission Synergy How does a person enhance the mission People have proficiencies
  4. 4. Using the Framework JTD Roles Proficiencies Positions People Proficiencies Level of Match Right Mix Opportunity Throughput Absorption Rate People Loading Level of Work Right Numbers Opportunity Flow Model Minimally Viable Organization (MVO) Optimally Performing Organization (OPO) Struggling Misdirected Too Few Enough Right Mix Wrong Mix Number of People MixofPeople
  5. 5. Need: Create and maintain an informed set of futures, scenarios and forecasts that influence strategy and opportunity exploration. Jobs-to-be-done – Foresight & Strategy • PESTEL trends – consensus and weak signal • Run futuring exercises and projects • Foresight method and tool development • Scenario creation and maintenance • Integration with business strategy Futures Need: Align area of interest with corporate strategy. Need: Define areas of interest to guide exploration projects Domains • Understand corporate strategy and strategic intent • Feedback to corporate strategy process • Create lists of potential domains for vetting • Engage with internal and external community for domain ideas • Monitor effectiveness of domain choice
  6. 6. Need: Establish new and potentially valuable business relationships with a variety of institutions and organizations including startups. Need: Rationalize new business models and partnerships. Jobs-to-be-done – Organizational Growth • Find ways of working with the right small companies that benefit both parties • Create business agreements that advance the pursuit of new opportunities • Develop appropriate business models that take advantage of business relationships Business Relationships Need: Provide a company-wide hub for innovation knowledge sharing and activity. Need: Provide appropriate support to innovation initiatives happening throughout the company Institutional Resource • Organize virtual and physical events that facilitate communication between all company innovators • Create an accessible repository of information and knowledge related to the innovation practice. • Build and maintain a sensing system that ‘notices’ significant happenings in the world.
  7. 7. Need: Maintain visibility of relevant internal/external technology developments – established and emerging. Need: Inform future and domain activities about important developments Jobs-to-be-done – Scouting Technology Landscape Need: Maintain and expand a network of connections with relevant community members. Need: Participate in public and private activities that develop external relationships. External Relationships • Define technology landscape of interest • Establish and maintain technology activity sensing system • Catalog relevant technology developments and activities • Develop technology domain connections (intersections, congruencies, etc.) • Connect relevant external developments with internal network for impact • Go to conferences to meet people and connect • Get involved in regional and national innovation ecosystem • Create connections with innovation organizations (e.g. start-ups, universities) • Connect relevant external and internal networks for effective impact
  8. 8. Need: Maintain visibility of all sources and links to information and knowledge being created by the company Need: Establish mechanisms for team and company- wide knowledge sharing Jobs-to-be-done – Networking Knowledge Management Need: Develop and maintain personal relationships with people throughout the company Need: Establish mechanisms for company people to meet and communicate Internal Relationships • Deploy knowledge gathering and sharing tools • Identify and maintain relevant knowledge sources and searching mechanisms • Promote availability and use of knowledge tools and system. • Regular, steady and effective contributions to the knowledge system. • Create & maintain corporate-wide community connections • Develop and deploy expertise/knowledge based location and connection • Facilitate virtual and face-to-face communications • Establish and maintain trust relationships
  9. 9. Need: Stay up to date on existing and emerging tools for innovators and innovation teams Need: Identify gaps in tools and develop new methods and tools to fill them Jobs-to-be-done – Innovation System Process & Tool R&D Need: Track opportunity creation and outcomes across all portfolios (especially transformational) Need: Develop, deploy and maintain an effective system of innovation measurement Opportunity Flow & Metrics • Regular research on new and existing innovation processes, methods and tools and selected deployment throughout the entire innovation system (domain, discovery, incubation etc.) • Maintain process and tool inventory for use by innovation teams • Development of proprietary tools that add value to innovation efforts • Establish and maintain a system for opportunity tracking and measurement • Implement and maintain process-based metrics (numbers, rates etc.) and impact-based metrics (outcomes, etc.) • Develop insights on the portfolios & opportunity flow, and recommend strategy/tactics for improvement
  10. 10. Need: Determine which opportunities get time and attention. Focus the opportunity flow. Need: Decide the next step in the opportunity maturation process. Maintain or close out options Jobs-to-be-done – Orchestration Opportunity Decision Making Need: Maintain effective channels for opportunity discovery – ad hoc and structured Need: Create a consistent volume of opportunity flow into the system Exploration • Develop and maintain the decision-making process and tools used to validate and select opportunities to focus on • Insure that optimal opportunity decisions are made at the right time. Instill an options decision mentality. • Manage the internal tensions to maximize organizational acceptance while simultaneously pushing boundaries • Manage the transformational innovation portfolio. • Create a number of discovery channels that use different mechanisms for opportunity identification • Develop the domain to discovery transition for launching structured discovery projects. • Set up a system for solicitation f opportunity ides from within the company
  11. 11. Need: Establish and maintain an opportunity design process applied to all opportunities Need: Maintain a system of opportunity focusing and shaping that results in high quality, transformational opportunities. Jobs-to-be-done – Discovery Opportunity Design Need: Observe, understand and describe relevant experiences of individuals and groups Need: Connect experience insight with design alternatives to influence opportunity design Experience Insight • Develop and deploy a consistent opportunity model used in all opportunity discovery efforts • Employ an opportunity maturation process that identifies key uncertainties and addresses them effectively. • Coordinate and communicate with BU stakeholders when appropriate. • Get opportunities ready for transition to incubation • Develop and utilize design thinking approaches and tools for understanding people and communities • Incorporate experience insight and design principles into engineering PoC, Prototype and development activities
  12. 12. Need: Develop and deploy the necessary processes, methods and tools to do proper business experiments Need: Establish the necessary internal environment to allow experiments to be done Jobs-to-be-done – Incubation Experimentation Need: Identify and recruit individuals who can lead business incubation projects Need: Support experimentation and business startup activities the champions need Business Champion • Create the test and learn (learning plan) mechanisms that will guide business experimentation • Create an environment within which experimentation is encouraged and facilitated. • Facilitate governance and support processes to maximize new venture performance with minimal overhead and bureaucracy. • Create and maintain the necessary advisory and mentoring capabilities venture leaders rely upon • Develop the means of recruiting venture leaders having the right mix of mindset and skills • Develop the incentive structures (not necessarily monetary) to encourage ventures • Work with outside stakeholders (e.g. Bus) to ensure maximum organizational acceptance
  13. 13. Proficiencies - Leadership Confidence Inspiring - Energizing & Empowering People The ability to motivate the team with a compelling vision, in the face of uncertainty and ambiguity, enabling the team to stretch beyond their comfort zone. Able inspire confidence in and win over stakeholders and senior leadership. Thought Leadership Contribution to developing best practices in innovation. Able to make original contributions to the innovation community, present at leading innovation conferences, publish and maintain visibility in innovation communities. Situational Awareness Has pulse on trends, market forces and industry pressures. Keen awareness of team and organizational dynamics, biases and constraints. Strategic Agility Understanding of the organization’s strategic intent, and ability to adjust and adapt strategic direction as a result of changing circumstances and priorities. Collaboration and Influence Ability to influence and persuade various parties, recruit supporters for various endeavors and collaborators to accomplish goals. Able to get to root cause of conflicts, within the team and the larger organization, and resolve them. Business Acumen - Entrepreneurial Mindset Strong business acumen, with specific focus on market validation, time to profit, and Lean/DDI approaches. Understands strategies and business models to create value, with strong focus on identifying and reducing key uncertainties to validate business value. Effective Delegation Intimately aware of team member skills and strengths, thereby able to leverage diverse strengths, allowing team to operate at a peak performance level. Able to ‘let go’ and trust team members with getting the job done, avoiding micromanaging. Building teams – Developing Talent Interest in and dedication to nurturing team member careers. Ability to set clear development goals and objectives for each team member and follow through with coaching and mentorship.
  14. 14. Proficiencies - Exploration Outreach Discovery The ability to build knowledge networks and find the most valuable sources of knowledge and connect and engage. Being creative in finding and interpreting evidence using skeptical curiosity. Actionable Empathy The ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and experience the motivations that underlie behaviors of interest. Being able to describe ‘why’ someone behaves the way they do. Broad Aptitude (Technical & Business) Broad and deep knowledge in multiple domains, technical and commercial. Understand a broad range of technological, societal and cultural aspects of many domains and to perceive connections across and between them. Experimental Imagination & creative recombination The creative ability to come up with unique, new and compelling concepts through mental recombination. Making interesting associations - connecting the dots. Exploring the adjacent possible and the adjacent wanted. Mental Duality- making sense of ambiguity The ability to keep the whole and the parts in mind at once. The ability to go from the specific to the general and back again at will. The ability to connect levels. Qualitative Synthesis Think and reason with qualitative knowledge. Synthesize ambiguous and uncertain information with thinking and reasoning, to create useful models of complex systems. Clarifying storytelling and presentation skills The ability to craft a compelling narrative and convey both the rational and the emotional aspects of plausible futures. Options decision making The ability to make decisions in the face of ambiguity and uncertainty. To recognize the probabilistic and complex nature of unfolding actions and keep future options open.
  15. 15. Proficiencies - Experimentation Existential and Permissive mindset Ability to envision a future existence and give permission to realize it. Able to distinguish between projects essential to company’s future existence, and projects that take the company in new directions, and the mindset to allow both types to be pursued. Experiment and Execute capability Ability to know when to experiment to reduce uncertainty by testing, learning and adapting, and when to execute by demanding operational excellence, focusing on quality, cost and efficiency. Persistence and Perspective Ability to navigate and overcome obstacles, while being realistic. Dogged determination to prevail in the pursuit of an opportunity, while simultaneously being able to confront brutal facts about current situation. Visioning & Championing Able to create a compelling vision for the for the opportunity. Able to become the ‘champion’ and to sell the vision broadly within the organization, to garner support Partnering and networking proclivity Able to leverage a vast network of internal and external partners, agencies, innovators and start-ups, to move opportunities forward. Knowing when to rely on external vs. internal resources and able to identify the best partner for the job. Organizational legitimacy and respect Able to rapidly earn the respect of stakeholders, peers and partners. Conscious of, and resistant to, cognitive biases Is aware of, and works to mitigate, cognitive biases that seep into observation, interpretation and decision making. Bias towards action Able to break out of the endless cycle of scenario planning and what –if analyses, able to act with limited information without feeling the need to ‘boil the ocean’.
  16. 16. Proficiencies - Operation Project Management Able to handle day-to-day management of multiple in innovation initiatives at various stages of progress. Process Management Able to implement and latest iteration of the corporate innovation system and related processes, e.g. process for generation of new opportunity concepts, the process for validation of an opportunity etc. Methods & Tools Expertise Detailed knowledge of the various method, tools and industry best practices related to innovation. Able to evaluate various solutions, adapt and apply to the right situations. Organizational agility Understanding of the organization’s powers structures, influencers and detractors, and ability to navigate around the organizational land-mines to bring people on board to accomplish goals Reslts Orientation & Accountability Laser-like focus on outcomes. Works to milestones. Able to set goals and chart out activities to accomplish those goals. Accepts responsibility. Futuring/ Domaining/ Discovery/ Incubation Research Well-versed in the specific tools and techniques related to various types of primary and secondary research, including on-on-one engagements, voice-of-the-customer interviews and online research. Analytical competence – innovation focus Skilled at data analysis to support research activities for innovation initiatives including creating decision making tools for score-carding, market size analysis, creating financial models etc. Operational rigor Disciplined in maintaining the right level of operational control and flexibility to keep the project or team focused on the process and established metrics.
  17. 17. Roles System Conductor •Orchestrate activities of a complex, dynamic system •Advocate for and protect mission and integrity of the organization •Obtain and marshal resources required for successful operation •Monitor system functioning, improve over time Business Developer •Understand the business dimensions and dynamics of potential partner companies •Build reasonable partnership arrangements to facilitate new business models •Interface effectively with business partner personnel (all levels) •Effectively communicate business relationships and objectives within the company
  18. 18. Roles Opportunity Designer • Explore a domain for new opportunities • Research an opportunity in demand, design and system dimensions • Tell an opportunity story, get others to understand • Shape an opportunity and reduce its uncertainty Scout • Find and cultivate relationships with external organizations that are doing interesting work • Maintain a view of the broad technology landscape – what is happening • Maintain and develop connections with individuals – create a sensing network • Establish a presence within the community – attend events, participate in conferences etc.
  19. 19. Roles Systems Designer •Construct complex system models useful for opportunity understanding •Model a variety of systems – economic, organizational, societal etc. •Research, identify, deploy methods and tools for systems modeling •Create outputs and results that give insight into potential outcomes for internal and external projects Community Developer •Identify individuals, internal and external, to connect with •Outreach and introduction to identified individuals •Conduct engagements to gather information, knowledge and insight •Maintain the community of people for everyone to access when needed
  20. 20. Roles Project Manager • Assures that innovation projects are well defined, scoped and resourced to get the outcomes desired • Coordinates project resources, schedules, milestones and deliverables • Plans and supports innovation events – both project and organization focused • Facilitates meetings, working sessions, workshops and other group activities needed for innovation projects Research Analyst • Find and access data and information sources that are relevant to opportunity development • Effectively deal with large amounts of often incomplete and ambiguous data • Effectively analyze and synthesize gathered data and information to reveal relevant insights • Present data and information insights in a manner that is effective and tells a story
  21. 21. Roles Futurist • Track trends – consensus and weak signals – that will influence the business • Develop scenarios of future states and systems that can inform exploration activities • Communicate future states and scenarios to the organization that are understandable and compelling • Assist in domain definition, align futures with strategy Portfolio Designer • Insure that the corporate innovation portfolio (transformational opportunities) contains the right mix necessary to drive future growth objectives • Interface and interact with the corporate portfolio board and BU leaders to insure seamless integration with broader corporate portfolio • Assist pre-incubation discovery activities to support portfolio needs • Assist in the governance of incubation activities to insure organizational acceptance
  22. 22. Roles Visionary Intrapreneur - Champion • Sets the business mission and vision – advocates for the business • Establishes an advisory board – manages advisory input and mentoring activities • Ultimate arbiter of business strategy, tactics and operations • External ambassador and partnering deal maker Experiment Designer • Creates experimental designs to test business hypotheses • Manages critical uncertainties – understands which experiments need to be done • Assists in opportunity design – brings in design thinking perspective • Builds adopter communities – individuals and organizations to experiment on
  23. 23. The Inovo Group For more information, check out our website, or drop Larry a line… With Inovo as collaboration partner and guide, clients transform their offerings, cultures and innovation capabilities. Larry Schmitt Managing Partner and Co-founder Ann Arbor, Michigan P: +1 (734) 604-3887 E: