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 insights (4)
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
Accurate analysis around innovation activity in services and the services industry in the Australian economy is very difficult to track down. Firstly there are issues of definition of what the services industry actually constitutes and possibly lots of overlap with other supposed “non-service” categories such as Agriculture, Manufacturing and Mining & Resources. Secondly there is a paucity of understanding of how the innovation systems in services industries typically operate. In one sense the services sector has been a victim of its own success – because it has been steadily growing and has not been in decline like, for example, Automotive Manufacturing Sector, it has not ended up being the focal point for in-depth studies about its innovation characteristics. On the definition side, the Australian Bureau of Census and Statistics writes.. “a service industry produces services valuable to consumers as a final product, such as services provided by cafes and restaurants, or valuable to other service and goods producers as an intermediary input, such as wholesale trade and accounting services.” Hardly helpful!! While ABS reports that in 2012 services made up 71.2 percent of Gross Value Added economic activity and provided jobs for 86.1 percent of employed persons, there is only poor data and limited understanding about the operations of the many services sub-sectors, which are increasingly niche focused and which also increasingly defy simple ABS categorisation methods. As I started to look for detailed data and evidence to better understand the dynamics of the local services sector and its innovation practices I quickly started to draw a blank. I googled various variations on the theme of innovation research
It is difficult to know how you are doing in your particular profession when you are working in creativity and innovation. Creativity in whatever endeavour or context is ruled by small continual loops of perception, judgment and reflection. It is not until you create a body of work in whatever practice or context over a period of time that you, as a creator, gain distance from your work. Even then you begin to wonder whether the work has any immediate or long term value or has made meaningful connections or sense with or for others. As a creator, it is not you who judges the effectiveness and quality of your work, it’s others.So, against this backdrop, it was very nice to suddenly be approached by IBM saying I had been selected to be one of the 100 IBM Global Creative Leaders and would I be happy to participate in their on going global study on human capital management coming off the back of their 2010 Global CEO Global Study - Capitalising on Complexity: Creative Leadership is the Way To Go!