The annual global Innovation Leadership Study just released by Capgemini Consulting and the IESE business school, based on a survey of 260 innovation executives around the world, find that only 24% of the respondents think they have an effective organizational alignment of innovation efforts. The study concludes that “the absence of a well-articulated innovation strategy is by far the most important constraint for companies to reach their innovation targets.” It proposes that “there is a need for innovation strategy development in a more bottom-up manner,” and “large organizations create so much distance between the executives and those that are tasked to innovate that a disconnect exists between them.”
In the book Good Strategy, Bad Strategy by Deckle Edge ,we learned that there are three steps to craft good strategy:
1. Diagnose Organization’s innovation Barriers:
·Miscommunication or Lack of Communication:
Executives and senior leadership teams need reduce the level of disconnect between leaders and employees.
· Culture Inertia:
Employees don’t have the sense of urgency to adapt to the changes, many legacy businesses come with legacy mindset, the old way to do the things, lack of three elements to spark innovation: vision, passion and progression.
· Lack of effective Innovation Process and KPI Metrics
Traditional top down style of organizational structure may only encourage top-down one way strategy making and innovation process, it may not be effective for business to capture the disruptive technology innovation or emerging marketing trend, and missing the right sets of KPI metrics may further discourage the innovation effort and influence.
2. Choice with Guidelines
· Innovative Leadership Team
“The spirit of organization is from Top” ~Peter Drucker, the innovative leadership team may set the right tone to lead enterprise wide innovation management. The innovative leadership team should well mix the innovator personas: movers and shakers, the thought leaders, critical thinkers, experimenters, reframers, in order to inspire the new thinking and encourage the new way to do things.
· Culture of Innovation
Employees will be motivated to see innovation via thousand of lenses, always encourage to ask 3D questions to spark creativity, and cultivate the culture of innovation
CIOs as innovation leaders may face the innovation dilemma, however, to overcome the obstacle, be audacious, not only craft the good innovation strategy, but also be the purposeful leaders to cultivate seven habits of innovation leader, to drive the business transformation and innovation agenda.
· Agile Structure to cultivate Innovation ecosystem
Innovation process doesn’t need be perfect, but should be easy to start, exciting and energizing, attract the “raw” talents, to capture the “raw” fresh ideas
3. Take Cohesive Actions to Implement Innovation
The study concludes there’re five key success factors for innovation life cycle management: innovation leadership, innovation culture, innovation process, innovation strategy and innovation governance. The cohesive actions may include:
1). Well align innovation strategy with business strategy such as business growth or cost optimization, well integrate people, process and technology seamlessly to build up the open platform for experimenting innovation, allow calculated risks, tolerant failures.
2) Well orchestrating the effective governance framework to manage innovation, yes, innovation can be managed to unleash its business potentials, and set up the right set of KPIs to measure the result
3) Amplify innovation project influence, to make innovation part of business DNA, either via formal CoE, Innovation or informal world of mouth, innovation is a journey, not a one time project.
image credit: uncp.edu
Pearl Zhu is President at Brobay Corporation, a global e-commerce & procurement service provider. A former Analyst/Designer at Hewlett Packard Corporation, she focuses on Business Start-up, Strategic Global Marketing Management, Product Line Marketing, Revenue Growth, E-Commerce, Software Development, Hi-Tech Product Benchmark Management and Strategic Business Relationships. Follow her on Twitter @pearl_zhu.