My research over the last decades shows organizations have spent substantial sums on building creativity and innovation capabilities, motivating employees to participate, only to see their innovation investment come to very little. Organizational anecdotes abound about exciting ideas with strong leadership support reaching the point of final decision making only to see them blocked for a whole series of reasons - personal and organizational risk aversion, political agendas, weak and indecisive leadership. IT departments called upon to facilitate innovation as a way of saving costs struggle with stultifying technological infrastructure along with the other 100 projects they are currently building and the rhetoric of the continual improvement acolytes ensuring organizations maintain their business as usual approach. The list for "why not" is endless. My observations suggest there is another less obvious reason. Innovation in many instances fails not because of any lack of intention rather there is
Entries in creativity (19)
In creativity, it is often not until you have completed a piece of work that the obvious intent of the work appears to you. This is particularly relevant in the case of innovation. Personal creativity, the input that produces organizational innovation, never follows a direct path and this has important strategic implications for organizations pursuing systemic innovation as a prime business objective. Our challenge in developing the analytic, the Management Innovation Index™ (the MIX), was to model an organization's innovation as a whole system in order to make innovation measurable. Over 3 years, we trialed and amended the MIX with various clients
As a senior leader in your organization. this is an invitation to an exclusive webinar launch of Version 3 of the Management Innovation Index (the MIX). Innovation in 21st century is now divided into 3 segments - incubators, start-ups and medium to large organizations - each requiring different types of innovation thinking skills. The main challenge for medium to large size organizations is how to grow through their own innovation capabilities. Most medium and larger organizational innovation efforts still start with idea generation. This approach ignores critical organizational skills, practices and capabilities required for innovation success. It also materially reduces the chance of success. The Management Innovation Index (the MIX) addresses this critical gap using clear metrics and actionable recommendations. Launched 7 years ago, the Management Innovation Index has collected over 22,000 pieces
In the past decade, I have listened to many leaders across all sorts of industries and organisations dialogue about innovation but very rarely have I seen organisations actually embody and live the outcomes of these dialogues. Facilitated dialogues and workshops with the endorsement and often participation of company leaders invariably leave participants highly enthused. Yet very often after a relative short period of time, organisations absorb this optimism and little changes. Leaders attest to the many difficulties associated with innovation, not least of which are the political ramifications. Innovation is like a political movement, often polarising entrenched hierarchies, organisational elites and factions. Innovation favours ideators and implementers, those wanting to overthrow the status quo and get on with change, challenging anybody who stands in their way. How a leader handles this unresolved organisational tension is crucial to the implementation of innovation. Over the last couple of months I have observed a trend within some larger organisations in which senior leaders are starting to engage internal staff in something more than just dialogue about innovation. I can’t put my finger on what it is directly but for want of a better description I will call it - innovation action. Innovation action is beyond mere dialogue and seems to follow a rough pattern.
The cumulative creative behaviours of senior leadership teams offer a strong indicator of whether an organization can successfully work their way through an innovation or transformation initiative. I stumbled across this phenomenon when I started to witness impediments and then the breakdown of well intentioned and well planned innovation initiatives on an organizational scale. It was clear to me these impediments occurred at senior levels not because of any deliberate subterfuge. They occurred because of “the blind spot phenomena” in creative skills and capabilities within teams working on innovation. The cliché “what you don’t know, you don’t know” occurred to me as best way to describe these circumstances. Creativity, that element of discovery, experimentation, invention, perception and risk which drives innovation, creativity’s output, is subjective. It is influenced by our personal creative attitudes, behaviours and practices. It is an area of skills development that goes to the very heart of who we are and how we behave and is very difficult to talk about directly. In my own journey as an innovation practitioner, the “blind spot phenomenon” revealed itself slowly over a period of six months as a result of the application of