Idea Management – The Measure Of Innovation

If you are a corporate innovation manager, no matter your level or official title, I have one question for you: Are you doing Idea Management?

It’s not a trick question. If you are, you’re doing your job. If you aren’t, then I would say your job is in danger. Maybe not today in winter 2008 as I write this, you may be safe for a time, but someday someone will ask why an idea management system was not put in place. Your excuse will need to be a better answer than “they were unproven” or “it wasn’t cost effective.” My wish for you on that fateful day is a good severance package — because both of those concerns are frightfully lame. Really you deserve the corporate equivalent of a tar and feathering because you’ve let down your organization.

Sorry for being a bit harsh there. You’re not lame, let’s just call it risk averse! I really do believe that Idea Management is a huge opportunity. What is it exactly? In a word, a database. More elaborately, it’s a system, or place, to store ideas and selectively and deliberately develop them. There are software packages that do this (and they also permit online brainstorming) but it could be as simple as a notebook. Amazingly, many large corporations do not catalog ideas in any way. Benjamin Franklin once said, “An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest” – wise words that should be heeded today!

Let me say something very clearly: if you are not doing Idea Management you’re not doing deliberate or continuous innovation. I would go as far as saying if you are not doing deliberate innovation than you are not doing innovation at all. Do you really want to leave innovation to an informal system? Is there anything more strategic to an organization than its innovation efforts? It’s your future! Why would any organization not implement some kind of idea management system? There really is no excuse for not doing it.

As an innovation consultant one of the most difficult things to help an organization with is measuring innovation. Idea Management systems address that challenge. It’s challenging to assess the innovation culture within an organization, and arguably, it’s even more challenging to measure the impact of innovation efforts over time. This is particularly true if there is only an informal system in place. Didn’t Demming say “that which isn’t measured doesn’t improve?” He also said “Learning isn’t compulsory … neither is survival.” Interesting how these quotes from the quality guru apply so well to Innovation. In a sense, Idea Management is a type of quality system, it’s measuring the quality and quantity of an organizations intellectual capital.

Stated simply Idea Management is a concept whose time has come. We must measure our innovation efforts in order to improve them. Ideas are the most strategic asset of any organization. Ideas are the first products of the minds of employees and owners. Ideas are what improve systems, improve processes, improve morale, generate new products, new services, and new ways to better serve the customer. If they are not recorded they are left in people’s heads (and people leave) or scattered across desks in a sea of memos, messages, and cocktail napkins. In an informal system ideas are often lost forever, some great ones are ignored because they are out of sight, some are given away free to the competition, and others diamonds in the rough are not developed and implemented. Further, you don’t know who’s pitching in with lots of ideas and who’s slacking off.

I stated earlier it’s hard to measure an innovation culture. It’s a touchy-feely thing isn’t it? You’d need to measure attitudes and feelings, and that is notoriously hard, although not impossible, to do. My hat’s off to those who make the effort by doing qualitative interviews, observational research, and in-house ethnography. These techniques can go a long way to measuring what kind of innovation culture your organization has, but given the “inexact science” nature of these techniques it is hard to justify those kinds of studies to the bean counters.

Idea Management on the other hand provides hard-core metrics. Doesn’t that give you goosebumps? What CEO or CFO doesn’t want hard-core metrics? How many five star new product ideas do we have for next year? Who thinks they are five stars? What are the ideas for moving them into production? Who thought of that brilliant idea for the line extension that is working so well? These are all questions CEO level managers should be asking, and they should be able to get quick and accurate answers.

I’d think that getting approval to buy idea management software would be a piece of cake. As a job protection measure you should ask for the money even if you know it will be refused! Those software companies, and there are some very good systems out there, are doing quite well right now. I am impressed with Imaginatik. Brightidea’s website has an interesting system. There are others that I haven’t looked at closely. Surprisingly, these systems are very reasonable in cost given the value they deliver. It’s hard to understand why everybody doesn’t have one. Is it risk aversion or lack of vision?

There are so many benefits of idea management that it should be a “no brainer.” It protects intellectual capital, it saves money in ideation (virtual ideation/online brainstorming alone could justify the cost) it allows for continued consideration and development of seed ideas, it tracks employee contributions, can be used as a factor in compensation, it saves re-invention of the wheel, it helps instantiate an innovation culture — and this is just a starting list of benefits!

Idea Management should be formal. Nearly everyone does it informally — but of course without real black and white measures informal idea management has no power to inform and educate our efforts.

Now, let me address the cost concern. You might be an independent consultant working alone, or a small company without a lot of money to throw at an expensive software system. You still need Idea Management, in fact it could be a competitive advantage. My suggestion is this, you can start with a spreadsheet! Even saving your ideas in a word processing document would be a start. You could also start with a free or inexpensive web-based system – they are available. Really there is no excuse for not systematically tracking ideas, reviewing ideas, and choosing the best ones to further develop and put into action.

So, if you are not doing Idea Management, and Innovation is your charge, I’d say get after it! Or, polish up that resume because you must have a secret wish to be doing something else. I’m joking but please, do yourself a favor, take advantage of Idea Management it’s a powerful tool for innovation.

Gregg Fraley is the author of Jack’s Notebook, a Business Novel About Creative Problem Solving – the first business fable about deliberate creative problem solving and personal innovation. Fraley is a recognized expert on creativity and innovation who speaks internationally and consults with many Fortune 500 companies on new product development. Visit Gregg Fraley or email [email protected]

Analyze Innovative Capabilities Of Your Employees With Innovation Metrics

In today’s world, it is very important to exploit the innovative capabilities of the employees so as to develop new business techniques in the face of modern technological advancements, empowerment of customers, new entrants in the market, shorter life cycle of the products, globalization of the market and geopolitical instability. The development of the innovative capabilities of individuals is the only to sustain an advantage over the competitors.

In every field, the leading company is the seen to be the innovator. Until now, innovation has been considered as some kind of black art. Managers of today’s world still lack the metrics that are required to take informed decisions about the innovative programs. There are some metrics that have developed for the development of new product. But these metrics are very limited. Managers are not fully equipped with the right metrics to measure the innovativeness of a particular program.

There are quite a few reasons that support the importance of innovative metrics for the development of a company. Firstly, they help the mangers to come up with an informed decision that is based on objective data. This is valuable because certain projects might have be long term and might also have risks attached to it. Also metrics affect behavior of the employees by aligning goals and actions that are in the best interest of the organization or company.

Most of the companies that measure their innovativeness do so with the help of Research and Development or by product development metrics. These might be useful but are limited in their scope as they are not capable of measuring the overall effectiveness of the innovations on the company. While paying attention to technological development, often innovation related to business concept is neglected.

There should be a framework for the selection of metrics that can help the mangers to track the success rates of innovation in the companies. These metrics would be helpful for the senior executives to assess the innovativeness of the company which will combat the dangerous strategy decay that afflicts the business of a company. Strategies might decay due to various reasons and hence innovation is the key of success for any company.

Companies that are not able to innovate for themselves must learn to buy it. For example, if company’s main product is out of demand then it can buy a lesser company whose products are still in demand. However, this innovation strategy is good only for a short term. In order to innovate things by themselves, the companies should have a balance between investment in the current business and innovation. The company should also assess the capability of the company to turn its resources of innovation into business opportunities. Also the leadership of the company has to be assesses in terms of its supportiveness towards any innovation.

Innovation metrics is important, because it is not really possible to manage something by measuring it. Innovation metrics is a tool to motivate the managers and leaders of the company to embrace innovation and give it priority. The goals of innovation need to be communicated and rewards for achieving milestones should be set. This helps in the acceleration of the pace of ideas that can be implemented. Innovation metrics can be applied in various fields in the company including process, planning and people.

If you are interested in innovation metrics, check this web-site to learn more about innovation scorecard.

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Why You Need Innovation In Your Business?

Innovation opens the door wide to find the existing opportunities in the present and potential ones for the future.
King of Prussia, United States, March 24,2015/Free-Press-Release.com/ — Many reasons would push you as an entrepreneur to adopt new ideas into your business to achieve success which is the ultimate goal of every business. It’s true that businesses differ one from another, so do their priorities and particularities of each sector, but a business that isn’t innovating risks of losing the battle for competitors or just functioning ineffectively. Innovation is a key to businesses in general and for small and medium business in particular.

Scientific studies have always highlighted the importance of innovation on business by investigating various dimensions of innovation including product, process, and market innovation. A recently study which is published here http://www.ibimapublishing.com/journals/JIMSME/2013/885666/885666.html has investigated impact of these dimensions of innovation on the performance of SMEs.

The study which is conducted by a group of scientists from Malaysia has tried to answer the question: How Can Innovation Impact Enterprises? The research finds that both product innovation and process innovation are crucial for businesses and has a great impact on the performance of a business. “The findings confirmed the hypotheses that product innovation and process innovation influenced firm performance significantly, where the impact of the former was stronger than the latter” the study stated.

Innovation opens the door wide to find the existing opportunities in the present and potential ones for the future. Innovation gives answers not only to today’s needs, but expect trends of the future and come out with new ideas including a new service or a new product that allows the organization to operate effectively. Innovation is what helps businesses survive the fierce competition in the market, if not leading it.

Another study that could be found here http://www.ibimapublishing.com/journals/JIMSME/2013/815384/815384.html has inspected the innovative behavior of small businesses. This research stressed out “that innovation is recognized as the strategic mean of survival even for the small businesses.” Researchers noticed in their study that “entrepreneurs have at least adopted the administrative innovations that involve improvements and newness in daily administrative processes.”

Besides, the study has made a number of valuable notices about how likely small businesses are adopting innovation. Scientists observed that “small firms are frequently exposed to severe resource constraint, thus limit their innovation performance compared to larger organizations…Radical innovation and invention have not been carried out by most of the subjects as it requires strong internal resources and established business network.”

Based on the paper’s findings, researchers advised that “entrepreneurs who are in critical situations or without choices need to take creative and bold actions in order to grow.” Also, they added that “small firms must also be encouraged to expand their innovation scopes to product, process and technical innovation…. (As) process and technical innovation are able to generate higher future revenues and profits.”

Challenges that entrepreneurs face include lack of support considering financial and knowledge. The research provided evidence that “small entrepreneurs need more support in terms of resource funding, knowledge and access to information on opportunities and alternatives, and skilled human resources.”

In spite of high costs that might be needed to implement an innovative idea, but if arriving to innovate, the benefits are really high and would participate in the prosperity of the organization in the future. An organization that does not innovate is leading the way down, and sooner or later everything within the business would become obsolete to the changing trends around in the market.

I’m a writer specializing in scientific news, mainly medical studies. I have contributed articles to different news outlets. http://freshsciencenews.wordpress.com

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5 Unique Distinctions Between Innovation and Also Invention

The terms “innovation” and also “invention” are so closely related and yet different that it is usually tricky to utilize them appropriately. Here is how they differ in definition, idea source, application, illustration and example, and relationship to one another.

There are numerous words in the English language which often seem so relevant to each other that it may be difficult to differentiate between them. “Innovation” and “invention” are two such words. Knowing the difference between these is important, especially if you must use them in marketing and advertising, demonstrations or, simply, life in general.

Definition

Based on the Merriam Webster dictionary, “invention” can be defined as “something invented like a product of the creativity or system, contrivance, or procedure originated after study and test.” As opposed to this, what is innovation? The same dictionary identifies “innovation” as “the launch of new stuff or a new concept, approach or even system.” From this definition alone, it can be fully understood that invention is the process of creating a completely brand new and wholly original concept or item as a result of comprehensive research and also testing. Innovation, however, deals with developing something that had already been existing.

Idea resource

One of the most unique differences between innovation and invention is based on resource of the idea. Even though both concepts deal with the process of coming out with new ideas or perhaps methods, invention is the outcome of original thought. That is to say, invention is the process of taking a conceptual or abstract thought and making it tangible. On the other hand, innovation relies on improving a present or active approach, system or process, and while this may involve a specific level of originality, innovation takes an existing idea and performs on improving or optimizing this idea to come up with something better.

Applications

It’s one factor to see the difference between invention and innovation, but it’s yet another to learn how to apply these in life. Innovation is a thing that is essential in every enterprise. This is merely because it is more difficult to come up with fresh inventions than it is to continuously enhance a given strategy or product. It’s also one of the valued tools in the marketing and advertising industry because every enterprise competes to outsell others depending on their numerous innovations.

Illustrations and also examples

In order to easily determine the differences between innovation and invention, there are tangible examples in daily life that make great illustrations. The phone, for example, was the excellent invention of Alexander Graham Bell. Through the years however, several researchers, scientists and also technologists have modified his concept, and the many different kinds of cellphones are a result of innovations based on the very first telephone. Innovation is a method that continues on throughout the years and maintains a particular invention. Although fresh inventions are hard to get, there’s no stopping the innovations and also improvements which will continue being performed to them.

Relationship

Besides the obvious distinctions between invention and also innovation, it is true that the two share an association. In fact, it could be declared innovation is the by product of invention, or that invention is exactly what leads to innovation. The reality of the issue, however, is that we cannot live without both invention or innovation simply because everything in our lives is affected by the products borne out of invention and improved by innovation.

The opportunity to tell these two terms apart will be handy, whether in life’s applications or just when it comes to illustrating an argument. Get it right from the beginning and save yourself and others confusion in the future.

For more answers to what is innovation, please visit http://www.whatisaninnovation.com.

Written by Patricia Strasser. For more answers to what is innovation, please visit http://www.whatisaninnovation.com

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Radical Versus Incremental Innovation

Most organisations imagine innovation to constitute transformational initiatives that create brand new revenue or define new categories. These innovations, typically, are termed radical or breakthrough by most commentators. They’re typified as being extremely speculative, but with high returns. In other words, the chance of them working is pretty low, but when they do, you have a hit on your hands.

When setting up an innovation programme, executives tend to do so with the expectation they will be getting radical innovation, but usually they don’t want the risk. Practically speaking, this is impossible to achieve in any way with much reliability, and is a principal cause innovation teams get fired.

Incremental innovation has none of these characteristics. It takes what is already being done in some way and improves it. The improvement needn’t be especially earth shaking, and will usually have the characteristics of enhancing the market reach of a product or service, or making it possible to charge higher prices. In this respect, incremental innovation, done at scale, can add materially to the growth of a particular enterprise.

More sophisticated innovation programmes quickly work out they have to have a balance of projects in both categories if they are to be successful. The fact is, many small incremental innovations have the ability to balance the expense of having a few radical failures, something that is critical until the innovation team strikes it lucky with a big hit.

In my experience, innovation teams start with “radical” innovation on the expectation they will deliver spectacular benefits in a short time. It quickly becomes clear to stakeholders though that such spectacular benefits are not so close, and may, in fact, not be so spectacular after all. Faced with significant disappointment, they cancel the innovation programme.

Key note to new innovation programmes: avoid the temptation to focus on radical innovation at the start, and you will likely live to fight another day. By concentrating firstly – or at least to a large degree – on incremental innovation, you have the chance to build basic capabilities which will be important as things get more strategic.

Is this the year you will concentrate on innovation in your organisation?There’s more about incremental and radical innovation in my free online innovation book.

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How innovation learning help succeed companies

Companies Success through Innovation

Innovation is an essential and important thing which is required by any business organization to achieve the planned targeted goals. Now a days online learning Innovation help organizations in may ways starting from learning new skills, building creativity & enhancing leadership among employees which is the key factor to get success in this competitive environment. Innovation helps to succeed companies in many ways which are listed below:-
Motivate organizations to create innovative products
Enhance innovation skills of employees in cost effective way
Helps to generate better ideas
Helps to build sustainable innovation management capabilities for organizations
Helps to fulfill business targets

Innovation Process to build a Niche
Online learning is the great way to improve the sales of any company where innovation helps to brainstorm on better ideas that are necessary to get your business on top of other competitors. Innovation idea generation process, in any organization helps business leader to define short term goals which motivates them to target a niche for their product or services and make them analyze how a product will perform among different type of users.

Making Goals & Track Results
An innovation learning make you define specific goals for the success of your business, as it teaches you to get innovative & creative with your product and keep track of the things that you have done during the development of that product either it is positive or a negative. And on the basis of their finding always try to improve your product for an exclusive business success.
As the success of any business completely depends on the creativity of that product of services, and innovation learning & management plays an important role in the development of a product which is out of the box. So its always better to keep the development of your product or services around creativity & innovation which is the only key to make your business a success.

Innovation help succeed companies
Enhance capabilities for organizations to create innovative products.
Increases innovation skills of employees in a time and cost effective way.
Develops a systematic approach to go forward with better ideas.
Helps to build sustainable innovation management capabilities for organizations.
Innovation processes helps to fulfill business targets.
It’s a sustainable Innovation Solutions through online learning.

To know more please visit :- www.innovationmanagement.se

Innovation is an essential and important thing which is required by any business organization to achieve the planned targeted goals. Now a days online learning help organizations in may ways starting from learning new skills, building creativity & enhancing leadership among employees which is the key factor to get success in this competitive environment.

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Thinking of A Central Innovation Team?

Central innovation teams are a model which have been well adopted in many industries. Pharma, for example, is typified by large development budgets which tend to be centralised in teams set up for the purpose of innovating drugs. In banking, as another example, there will regularly be many New Product Development teams who dream up new things for specific business lines. Even in Government, there is an increasing focus on central innovation in the never-ending pursuit of efficiency and cost savings.

Its easy to understand why. Central teams are easy to set up, and much less difficult to measure than diffuse arrangements that rely on an “innovation culture”. It is easy to point at them and say “that’s how we’re doing innovation”. They make executives feel good about their innovation efforts, because when you can nominate specific individuals and assign accountability for actions, you know things are likely to get done.

Now, in this model, the innovation team is the group that decides how and when to innovate. They ordinarily control an investment budget of some kind, and are accountable for making investments that drive forward the innovation agenda. If they are any good at all, they will sign up to some big return numbers that can justify the investments they’re making.

There is, however, a problem with a central innovation team that does everything. The problem is that in order to get more innovation, you are forced to add more people. In other words, central innovation teams do not scale well.

Frankly, for most innovations, the difference in effort required to get an organisation to do something radical, versus the easier incremental kind of innovation, is not all that great. You still have to do the influencing, the management of politics, and of course, find the money in order to get things progressed.

Though incremental innovation tends to be relatively risk free, it usually will not make sizeable returns on case by case basis. This means that innovation teams are forced to do a significant number of things in parallel if they want to make a difference with incremental innovation. Unfortunately, it is a fact of life that with incremental innovations, a single success will be unlikely to pay for the time of the innovators.

By contrast, radical innovation has much better returns, though the risk level is much, much higher. For innovation teams, this makes it seem sensible to spend their time on radical projects. The rationale is easy to justify: do incremental innovations and never break even ever, or at least have the chance to break even if you do radical.

What is really needed, though, is a balanced portfolio approach to innovation coupled with significant inputs from customers and employees. Participatory innovation, as this approach is known when supported by a central team, is usually the best approach to making innovation work in large organisations.

Are you deciding on an innovation programme? If so, you’ll want to access the data from James Gardner’s free online innovation ebook when structuring your innovation team.

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Innovation Management,Skills and its Areas of Innovation

1. What is Innovation management?

Innovation- It is the generation of new idea, device or process that is always ahead of other things and resides out of the box. Innovation is also described as the implementation of better solutions that meet new requirements or existing market needs. This is achieved through more effective products, processes, or ideas that are readily available to markets.
Innovation management- It is the process of managing innovation. It can be both product and organizational innovation. Innovation management consists of different set of tools that allow managers to cooperate with a common understanding of processes and goals.

2. Efficient way to learn innovation skills

Required Resources -To learn innovation skills there are various things like online learning, coaching, knowledge sharing,Online Training, tools, resources which require time, efforts & money.

Efficient way of learning -However one of the efficient method to learn innovation skills is Online learning process which include all these things together and saves time & is cost efficient.

3. Importance of Innovation in Business

Helps to understand why traditional business models are no longer reliable in today’s business context.
Helps to craft better business strategy & planning
Make your innovation management skills and strategic thinking more effective.
Helps to take bigger chances without incurring huge risk.
Improve personal ideation & hunting skills.
Develop leadership insights among personals.

4. How innovation help succeed companies

Enhance capabilities for organizations to create innovative products.
Increases innovation skills of employees in a time and cost effective way.
Develops a systematic approach to go forward with better ideas.
Helps to build sustainable innovation management capabilities for organizations.
Innovation processes helps to fulfill business targets.
It’s a sustainable Innovation Solutions through online learning.

5. Important areas of innovation

There are Six major areas of innovation which can be achieved through online learning innovation programs, tools & resources. All these major areas of innovation are mentioned below:-

Knowing how to identify and sort ideas.
What are the available channels, tools and resources.
Business plan elements – to ensure the idea can get a proper evaluation.
Stakeholder buy-inĀ – to prevent premature death of ideas.
Development planningĀ – the next step after the business plan.
Building inter-personal relationships.

To learn innovation skills there are various things like online learning, coaching, knowledge sharing,Online Training, tools, resources which require time, efforts & money.

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Regional innovation systems

recently. Basically, this concept aims at redefining the role of a region in innovation processes,

to abandon the political focus on local and regional innovation networks (Asheim & Isaksen,

2002). It goes to the extent of bringing territorial innovation theories up to date. Geographical

proximity is imperative in regional Innovation System as unstated information can be shared

easier when actors of the innovation process are in a suitable detachment.

In addition, intensification of reliance between individuals of modernism needs constant

interactions which can be made easier by close relationship. This entails that limited to a small

area interaction can be reinforced by socio-cultural principles like customs which are entrenched

in a geographical area. Agglomeration is another entity that enables geography to influences

regional innovation systems is that it forces contribution to knowledge infrastructure by

concentrating universities, research centers; easier access to rules and regulations (Acs, 2000).

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Basically, this entails that the shorter geographical distance between participants, the less the

coast of exchange knowledge and information and the faster communication between actors.

Another issue that influences regional innovation system is cognitive proximity. It shows that too

little cognitive proximity leads to misunderstanding and too much may cause a problem of lockin.

The outcome of cognitive geography is usually that one is not able to notice possibilities

on new technologies and markets as routines that are within an organization. Organizational

proximity is another issue that denotes the extent within relations taking place between actors in

a firm setting. Basically, this tends to depend on the rank of the autonomy which the cooperating

actors acquire. In addition, there is social proximity which is a social embedded relation that is

between actors at the micro-level (Cooke and Morgan, 1994). This is where socially embedded

relations are meant to be understood as relationships that are based on trust constituted of

friendship and past experiences. Therefore, too little social proximity may result in a decline of

the innovation capacity of firms caused by lack of trust and commitment and too much can

inhibit innovativeness.

Geography in regional innovation system has shed new light on historically contigent

regional preconditions for innovation and economic growth, and has also revealed a weakness

in established systemic approaches to innovation attributes to their often limited appreciation

of these path dependencies (Andersson and Karlsson, 2002). In essence, this entails that the

geography of regional innovation system tends to draw attention to the demarcation, overlap and

relationships with extra-regional actors, networks and institutions.

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The development of information and interaction technologies is another reason as to why

the role of geographical distance in regional innovation systems is perceived as diminishing by

scholars. This is so as the appearance of ICT changed the methods of generating, storing and

knowledge. Face-to-face interaction can be substituted by communication via virtual proximity

as there is technology. In addition, ICT increases the chances of changing tacit knowledge into

codified knowledge. Essentially, this shows that technological evolution has led to increase in

mobility of individuals and facilitated temporary geographical proximity.

Generally, geography matters as the idea behind territorial innovation models, stating that

the key factor of the growth and competitiveness is to be seen in local environment and

geographical proximity. it is beneficial for the transfer of knowledge and innovation processes.

This is so as the development of ICT facilitates the transfer of knowledge over long distance at

low cost and accelerates the codification of knowledge. In addition, the claim that geographical

proximity, regional and local levels still matters as it has proponents. Virtual proximity is not

able to be a surrogate for geographical proximity concerning transactions that are characterized

by ambiguity and complexity (Autio, 1998). Another aspect is that establishment of social

relations and community’s development from scratch cannot be done relying on new

technologies in the initial stages.

It is perceived that the role of geographical proximity in an organization’s innovation

performance depends on the firm, the size of the firm, and the target to which the distance is

considered. Geographical proximity positively influences the propensity of small firms to

collaborate with universities, where as for large firms the distance is less important because the

collaboration with world-class science is more valuable for them. Territorial closeness to other

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firms improves innovation productivity of software firms and closeness to their clients does not

matter for their innovation performance. With regard to distance to investors, spatial proximity

impacts the likelihood of investments and is especially imperative for less experienced venture

capitalists. Thus, technological evolution has facilitated communications between actors of

innovation processes.

Globalization and technological evolution influence the role of spatial distance in

innovation processes but local environment is still imperative for local firms. This is based on

the aspect of presence of close knowledge networks and institutional assistance. This is so as

geographical closeness used to be perceived as an essential circumstance to share implicit

knowledge and to improve trust among investors. Furthermore, it is very important to lend a

hand both within the local network region and with far-away partners. This will contribute to

establishment of territorial innovation models as open systems that are unavailable in interactive

learning by global connectivity (Autio, 1998). This is the case as scientists have emphasized the

local character of innovation processes and have perceived the region as a locus of innovation.

Problems that Regional Innovative Systems face

Although regional institutional framework is perceived as being highly influential for the

way actors perform, such regional conditions do not always primarily matter by shaping a local

arena for knowledge exchange and direct interaction between region actors. Moreover, the

miscellaneous variety of regional innovation system types brings about a considerable scale of

definition bewilderment and empirical justification issues (Andersson and Karlsson, 2002). It

makes it a problem for researchers and policy makers alike to predict what a regional innovation

system is. The advance goes through the absence of a amalgamated theoretical framework from

This article was created by carol,a professional procurement executive. She has also been dealing with sales support at Mambo Microsystems Ltd, a well known company for Reseller hosting .in kenya.

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Creative Innovation

How creative is your innovation “process”?

Think about it? Is your innovation process highly prescriptive or very organic?

Is your innovation pipeline delivering a balanced portfolio of projects and products or is it skewed to being incremental or hedging on high risk disruptive innovation?

With all of the capability to connect and communicate with other people and data, creating a balanced and fruitful innovation ecosystem in today’s world has been made easier, wouldn’t you agree? Or maybe not!

There are several issues that we need to acknowledge, which are spoken privately but not always openly discussed as you will see why. There are also two strategies that we need to embrace, understand and implement.

Innovation Issues

Innovation is about being creative, creating that new “thing” that nobody else has thought of and adds value.

Below are some of the common innovation issues in the form of barriers and constraints that I have come across whilst working in various sectors such as the construction, pharmaceutical and biotech industry, albeit with varying degrees. Think about how many of these you have experienced within your organisation.

Standardisation – you are working in a business and a world where you have to conform to procedures, policies, legal requirements, so much so that creativity is virtually non existent

Linearity – from standardisation you have business processes, work flows, whereby you believe if you follow the process you will get the right results. I believe it was Einstein who said Insanity: “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” There is a time when you need to go off-piste.

Diversity – within your business and organisation you will have a set number of people with certain skill sets, training and knowledge based on what you believe to be correct. There are over 7 Billion people in the world and I would bet that there is someone, somewhere who is not in your organisationthat has the block-buster idea or know how to develop a transformation and disruptive innovative solution.

Passion – how passionate are you and the people within your organisation about your work, how it contributes to creating and developing new products and services. Are you high performing organisation?

Creativity – do you promote continual learning and development through dynamic collaboration across your business and with outside organisations that can help you to think creatively?

Visualisation – having visibility of your innovation pipeline, that can be shared with anyone and supports divergent thinking is part of creativity.

Poor decision making – you are constantly being bombarded with data, requests, distractions that it is becoming more difficult for your to make informed decisions and is taking longer to make.

Fear culture – fear of being wrong, getting a negative result and sharing it because of what people might think of you or how it will affect your career to get to the “top”.

You will notice in most of the items above there are only one or two points that are system and technology related while the others relate to people – you and me. And yet what I have discovered is that businesses will typically focus on the “tangible” assets such as the business processes, systems, equipment and not on the “intangible” assets, which include people, the organisation and knowledge (including data and information) that contains the highest part of an organisations value and innovation capability.

Why is that?

Probably because processes and systems are easier to understand and therefore easier to optimise. But are you optimising the right part of your organisation?

People working collaboratively

I recently attended a presentation to listen to the person who led the engineering and construction delivery of the London 2012 Olympic Park. It was truly amazing how leadership where able to pull so many people together, deliver innovative designs and construction solutions and still meet and sometimes exceed the key milestones and metrics that were set, by working together as a team – a very big and diversified team.

The other key attribute that the presenter identified was clarity. There was clear visibility of what the objectives where, how they were going to do it, roles and responsibilities.

There were several main points to the successful delivery of the London 2012 Olympic Park but two in particualr resonated with me.

Collaboration – people working together to deliver an agreed outcome

Visualisation – the use of integrated visualisation tools such as BIM so everyone understood. Total clarity.

Helping people to collaborate with clear visibility can support and enhance your innovation capability.

Creative Innovation

Regarding the issues listed above I have considered their effect on creative innovation and how collaboration and visualisation could faciliate change and improvement.

Standardisation

If you work in a highly regulated industry you will veer to the safe, low risk position and more often or not you are driven there out of fear. Fear of getting it wrong can lead to very serious consequences such as a safety issue. This standardisation is further endorsed by people in your organisation who make sure you follow the linear process so that you do not step off the “proven path”.

This is further complicated when you have other people trying to create something new and are continually trying to step off the proven path. Both are working separately and to a degree, in opposite directions. But isn’t amazing. When a mistake is made or something does go wrong there is great learning. When these groups gather to analyse and work out collaboratively what went wrong, innovative solutions are created.

It takes an issue, for people to react and come together. What if you were to “fail” in a controlled way – fail quickly, continously, learn quickly and do it cheaply.

Celebrate that failure as a new learning and do it as a group rather than specific departments or individuals. What would that do to help increase your innovation capability?

Measuring people

People work differently; they have different skills and capabilities for learning and being creative. When in a group do you consider their performance from that perspective or do you revert to the dreaded Personal Development Plan and measure them individually. You can have fantastic individuals but unless they are team players, team collaboration will be low and will stunt your innovation and growth. Look at any team sport and who are the winners.

Aesthetic collaboration

Is your organisation and people being bombarded with data, information, emails – demands for immediate answers and responses? You probably have emails for example that you do not even bother to look at – you have become anesthetised to this communication. Similarly, if your innovation follows a linear, prescriptive process and is a continuum of targets and milestones, following procedures religiously, completing work that you know to be of no innovative value, but carry on for fear of non-compliance, you have an anesthetised process.

You need to create a culture and environment for aesthetic collaboration by developing a visual and social process that captures ideas through social critiquing, communication – collaboration acts as a catalyst for transformational innovation. This creates a “lens” for you to focus on. This is when your senses are at their peak and will help you and your colleagues become more creative such that you gain insights and ideas that create new value for your organisation and supports improved and quick decision making.

Key to aesthetic collaboration is to be more visual and have the ability to visually collaborate (socialise) with a diversity of people both internally and externally. Having this unfamiliarity of people and uncertainty of not knowing what will be said, what divergent questioning, thinking and answering will occur creates a high degree of excitement, alertness and focus. It is genetically built into us. I am sure you have experienced this haven’t you?

Visualisation

To support aesthetic collaborations the ideasneed to be dynamic and interactive. Typically you will capture these onto spreadsheets for analysis, develop a presentation to visualise and email it to communicate to other people. Sounds familiar?

You only have to look at the use of BIM (Building Information Management) within the engineering industry and the positive effect it has including an increase in innovation. Being able to visualise a complicated “boring” drawing into a 3D, fully rendered visualisation of what a building will look like allows a diversity of people to interact, create ideas and solutions that the engineer would never think of.

This I remember vividly when reviewing hospital bedrooms with nurses during their coffee break using visualisation to walk “virtually” through and see the wards that they would be working in. There was a long list of design points that us engineers just did not even think about. This co-creation was a new experience and developed a passion within the team to succeed.

Creative Innovation

I hope this has helped you to think how you can develop a creative innovation culture within your organisation using collaboration and visualisation as potential catalysts for change and creative innovation.

Jason Hier is an accredited BS 11000 facilitator and Director at Roelto – a London based Collaboration and Visualisation organisation.

Delivering effective collaboration, efficient data visualisation and productive visual collaboration for your business.

Discover how you can easily visualise and collaborate to develop a creative innovation process

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