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.
Entries in IT (3)
Every organization is systemically and uniquely creative, made up of its employees’ cumulative creative capabilities and experiences. To make innovation work in that context requires a way of devising an organizational framework that recognizes the unique creative contribution of each person whilst fitting it into the individual uniqueness of the organization’s creative culture as a whole. Digital collaboration technologies, currently the digital rage such as ideation platforms (the process of creating and capturing ideas), take a one shoe fits all approach to organizational creativity, regardless of the inherent uniqueness of the creative culture of the organization. Further, ideation platforms create disruption to organizational process when they are layered onto existing technology infrastructure currently driving the organization. Unless there is genuine intrinsic motivation for an employee to participate, the ideation platform will die along with the innovation initiative, subsumed into the myriad of current digital technology processes employees are required to engage with on a daily basis. My recent research shows a failure rate as high as 80% on money spent
Two recent examples show how digital disruption is having a huge impact on traditional businesses and business models and how rapidly innovation as a practice and process will need to change to keep up with the impact. Over the last two years, one of Australia’s largest publicly owned talent management organizations has seen one of its major client’s spend fall from A$30million per annum to $15million per annum, with expectations the total spend year ending 2012 will be around $5million. For any company this is a huge drop in revenue and as the Managing Director said “It is not only a huge drop in revenue for us, it is a huge drop in revenue for the total HR industry in Australia.” This contraction has come about because of