What Stops Us Moving Innovation into our Core?

by Paul Hobcraft

What Stops Us Moving Innovation into our Core? - Innovation ExcellenceInnovation has sat outside the core of organizations central systems for long enough. Arguably this lack of being a core central focus holds the deeper understanding of innovation back.

A core that could offer up the sustaining value and contribution innovation can make, into the growth and future well-being of organizations and having available the level of resources and commitments it needs. Today innovation seems to be falling short in delivering on its promise. Why?

Those constant top level concerns need finally addressing

So we all hear the constant ‘disappointment’ surrounding innovation. There are consistent concerns of a “lack of resources”, the “top management is not giving innovation enough attention” or “innovation lacks a clear alignment to the strategic direction”. There are constant complaints around innovation and its lack of ‘impact’ on final delivery from different disappointed stakeholders. To give innovation a better ‘fighting’ chance we need to rethink how we manage it and we have to make it more central to our organizations thinking, decision making and management in those systems and processes that give it this chance.

Today innovation tends to operate in discreet, often stand-alone applications, where the systems for innovation stay often clustered in specialized groups working on their part. This is partly by design but also by the restrictions we place on ourselves in organizational design or solutions being offered.

We have no solid, robust innovation management system in place that is Enterprise-wide to handle all that ‘makes up’ innovation, we all really do fail to deliver transforming innovation, apart from some notable exceptions based upon emerging technology applications, platforms and integrated designs.

We lack the dedicated organizational process to manage innovation

Innovation lacks an Enterprise-wide Innovation Process as this has not been tackled through any ERP system as yet, apart from some selected parts. Is innovation management to tough too capture as a total system? Can innovation be ‘captured’ fully and turned into a robust process? I believe so, but it will take a different, more radical form to deliver enterprise wide innovation that is adaptive, agile and fluid in much of its management.

The flows we need to imagine will be far more constant in change, more dynamic in what occurs and its impact and not that ‘static’ or well- defined inputs that much of the current ERP system requires. It will take a significant re-thinking.

Whenever the activities around innovation are required to be reviewed, much of this ‘selective/collective intelligence’ has to be constantly reworked, to allow it to be disseminated to a broader audience for their response and new input. What we have today is relatively  inefficient and certainly not well-connected to make a system dynamic and agile in its evolution, to parallel the often talked about ‘messy’ innovation system of today.

Stand alone or adjoining systems are not providing the full answer we are needing today.

Today we have stand-alone systems tackling idea management capture, portfolio and pipelines, research and developments with often separate project management, dashboards and performance measuring systems.

These ‘stand-alone’ systems aim are working hard at trying to create sustainable engagement, encouraging ever-increasingly scale in handling increasingly larger volumes of dialogues, information and data, as well as span global enterprise deployments.

Many software solution providers are working towards the focusing on the capturing ideas that are Customer need-driven, utilize far more the cloud-based potential, determine the Ideas and possible solutions to then work through the needed resource, identify gaps and then deliver a Work Management set of solutions, to move ideas through to eventual execution but we still have numerous ‘disconnects’ across the innovation process.

We are still lacking a complete view for managing innovation

Historically this split we see today between idea management software and the enterprise portfolio systems might have previously made sense but I think it is possibly holding the integration of innovation back for today and the future.

We need to go to the next step – providers of a holistic Enterprise-wide Innovation Process

So much of our innovations we should be dealing with deals are so often in the unknown, unpredictable, in their uniqueness and today our systems simply can’t cope with these. We still struggle in dealing with a more radical innovation need, where unpredictable consequences can occur both in defining the right inputs, forecasting the process or outcome predictability. Our present software systems are falling short to manage this fluidness and need for constant agility and adapting.

This is where we need to find a better solution, to find a way, a system and its process that keeps moving innovation towards the broader strategic core, having consistent ‘line of top management sight.’ As well as achieving consistent commitment to manage innovation far more dynamically, and in agile and fluid ways,

Even in this uncertainty we all face today, the full scope of innovation activity has much uncertainty and risk built into it that our present software solutions are finding difficult to manage or capture. It conflicts as they continue to build linear or parallel systems and not systems that adapt and respond as needed, ones that constantly ‘loop’ back, re-feeding the understanding to drive greater, broader, ever increasing innovation performance.

We need to have available an integrated enterprise-wide innovation resource process. I certainly believe if someone can build it, then the innovators will come and it will eventually become the critical core of our organizations way of doing business relating to growth.

image credit: bigstockphoto.com

Innovation Excellence

Wait! Before you go…

Choose how you want the latest innovation content delivered to you:

Wait! Before you go…

Choose how you want the latest innovation content delivered to you:

Paul Hobcraft runs Agility Innovation, an advisory business that stimulates sound innovation practice, researches topics that relate to innovation for the future, as well as aligning innovation to organizations core capabilities. Find him @paul4innovating

One comment

Leave a Reply