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Shift from occasional to relentless innovation


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This slide examines why a shift from occasional, ad-hoc and reactive innovation to a posture of relentless, enterprise-wide and methodical innovation is so important. A redacted slide set I used to drive discussion with a senior leadership team.

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Shift from occasional to relentless innovation

  1. 1. Mapping the shift from Occasional to Relentless Innovation
  2. 2. Overview <ul><li>In this presentation I examine the current state of innovation – occasional, sporadic, ad-hoc – and describe a desired future state where innovation is a consistent business discipline. </li></ul>
  3. 3. State of Innovation <ul><li>Innovation is ad-hoc , sporadic and reactive driven by specific customer needs or environmental threats </li></ul><ul><li>Innovation is mostly incremental , focused on improved capabilities for existing products </li></ul><ul><li>Most organizations lack consistent innovation discipline and fail to understand best practices </li></ul><ul><li>Innovation is considered a function of R&D rather than an enterprise-wide capability </li></ul>
  4. 4. Root Causes <ul><li>A focus on efficiency and short term profitability </li></ul><ul><li>Tight resource constraints limit innovation activities </li></ul><ul><li>Easier, safer and faster to create incremental improvements rather than disruptive concepts </li></ul><ul><li>These factors create a vicious cycle of ever decreasing innovation </li></ul>
  5. 5. Current State is not Sustainable <ul><li>Five forces that will demand more innovation: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pace of change is increasing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Access to information/education is increasing everywhere </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Barriers/Cost of entry and development are decreasing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Type and number of competitors is multiplying </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Customer demands and expectations constantly shifting </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Response Options <ul><li>There are three possible responses </li></ul><ul><ul><li>First, do nothing. Wait to see if these shifts are sustained. Likely outcome: obsolescence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Second, tinker around the edges. Try a few innovation initiatives with no real commitment. Likely outcome: frustration and cynicism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Third, shift to an innovation posture. Develop methods, skills and capabilities. Likely outcome: innovation mastery after seismic shifts </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Desired Future State <ul><li>For our success, innovation in the future must shift: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>From incremental to disruptive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>From reactive to proactive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>From ad-hoc to a defined methodology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>From isolated pockets to enterprise wide </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>From occasional focus to consistent discipline </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>From partnering to open innovation </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Incremental to Disruptive <ul><li>Today, many innovation activities are focused on extending existing platforms or creating small improvements to existing products or services. </li></ul><ul><li>Firms must improve their capability to look further into the future, identify emerging threats and develop radical or disruptive capabilities, platforms and technologies. </li></ul><ul><li>Innovation must encompass both incremental and disruptive innovation . </li></ul>
  9. 9. Reactive to Proactive <ul><li>Most innovation work performed is in response to an external threat or a market shift. </li></ul><ul><li>Firms must develop the capability to invent or discover new insights, new technologies and platforms and lead customers to these new concepts. </li></ul><ul><li>Innovation must become a proactive capability rather than simply reactive . </li></ul>
  10. 10. Ad-Hoc to Defined Methodology <ul><li>Most firms have well-defined methodologies and work processes for important business capabilities. </li></ul><ul><li>Firms must define and implement an innovation methodology to ensure everyone is working to well-articulated, well-understood methodology for innovation. </li></ul><ul><li>If innovation is important, it must be supported by a well-defined methodology and workflow </li></ul>
  11. 11. Isolated Pockets to Enterprise-Wide <ul><li>Every product line or business unit has some innovation expertise, but the knowledge and capabilities are in small pockets and aren’t shared or communicated. </li></ul><ul><li>A firm must view innovation as a consistent capability which enables its strategic goals and missions, and deploy innovation capabilities and knowledge across the entire organization. </li></ul><ul><li>There’s no “one” team responsible for innovation – everyone should be involved and every team constantly innovating. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Occasional Focus to Consistent Discipline <ul><li>Occasional innovation based on customer need, serendipitous discovery or environmental threat </li></ul><ul><li>Firms must recognize the importance of a consistent, persistent focus on innovation and the deployment of an innovation “discipline” as a consistent capability. </li></ul><ul><li>Innovation is too difficult, too risky and uncertain to pursue except as a consistent discipline. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Partnering to Open Innovation <ul><li>Current focus on innovation in most firms is internal, with some nascent attempts to gather ideas from customers or partners. </li></ul><ul><li>Every firm must embrace the concept of “Open Innovation” and evolve their working relationships, channels and internal capabilities to scout, evaluate and license important technologies and identify valuable partners. </li></ul><ul><li>Soon all innovation will be “open” – we won’t make a distinction </li></ul>
  14. 14. Achievement <ul><li>You’ll achieve your goals when: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You identify new technologies, new platforms and informs customers of their need </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You deploy a consistent innovation process and engages the process repeatedly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Your employees understand the importance of innovation and have the necessary skills to sustain it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Your culture embraces, engages and sponsors innovation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Innovation is not a “happy accident” but a daily way of life for everyone </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. The work involved <ul><li>This is a seismic shift for many organizations, challenging </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Leadership styles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Existing corporate culture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Existing business processes, decision making, funding mechanisms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Skills and roles </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Layering or Grafting won’t work <ul><li>Many firms fail when attempting innovation because they try to “layer” innovation on top of existing processes and attitudes. The existing processes ultimately reject innovation. </li></ul><ul><li>Some firms attempt to “graft” innovation to the organizational structure, creating innovation teams while sustaining status quo operations. These innovation teams are quickly isolated and slowly shrivel. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Shift requires commitment <ul><li>To complete the shift from an occasional, reactive, ad-hoc innovator to a relentless innovator takes more than a few innovation projects, it requires developing an innovation capability and discipline </li></ul><ul><li>It requires a shift in skills and resources, and a change in tolerances for risk and uncertainty </li></ul><ul><li>It will require different funding mechanisms and different timelines. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Seismic Shifts <ul><li>In many regards, there is no choice. The market is shifting and you can shift or become extinct, much like shifts in previous decades </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1980s Business Process Re-engineering </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1990s Enterprise-Wide Systems (ERP) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2000s Internet-enabled business </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2010s Accelerated, effective innovation </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Contact us to learn more <ul><li>Email: [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Web: </li></ul><ul><li>Blog: Innovate on Purpose </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter: @ovoinnovation </li></ul><ul><li>Phone (919) 844-5644 x789 </li></ul>