Innovation is a Cultural Action

Having a strategy in business is critical, but a business without a focus on innovation and an understanding of how to do it efficiently and effectively won’t survive. This articles talks about innovation being based on a truth and how it can be done efficiently and effectively. There is a huge amount of information about Innovation out there, please read it all, but more importantly TAKE ACTION. Take small action not grand plans, actual innovation can’t be planned, only the frameworks, funding, people and physical resources, the outcomes can’t be planned.

Innovation Culture is a Strategy

Below is from the Huawei Europe Innovation day in Paris, this is the only example I have first hand, as I was invited to attend. What’s really impressive here is the commitment to innovate being backed up with money and not words. #HuaweiHID

Innovation is Based on Knowns

Innovation is about building on something you already know to be true, even if that truth is just geographic, cultural, brand bases, technology based, time (date relative) or customer based.

A truth in time is essential for innovation to succeed, always test your truth to ensure its not a perception, a lie or a dream

Karl Smith

An example of a truth may be drawn from quantitative or qualitative data. For example “customers do not buy when the journey to buy is more than three clicks”, “in the cluture of xxxxx country, this product won’t sell”, the next big thing is 5G “our 4G product will sell well in 5G as its just about speed”.

Once you have a truth there are three ways to respond to it, either by Progression or in Counterpoint and rarely but interestingly sometimes by Accident. As its very easy to get wrapped up in ownership over value principals, someone not involved also needs to conduct Triage (prioritisation, relationships, backlogs) and Due Diligence (similarities, copies, brands, people, etc.) at this point to avoid waste.

Progression Innovation

In Progression Innovation, the most common way in business and technology you need to set what your values are then look at what are the success factors currently delivering value to your organisation.

EXAMPLE: If your value is P&L then shipping millions of low margin high complexity products is not a success, especially if you have not properly understood the supply chain costs and risks, you may be working for free. Your innovation attributes should then included a full lifecycle cost, margin and profit valuation.

EXAMPLE: If your value is Market Penetration, then your innovation attributes need to include regulatory, tax, political, killer product

Counterpoint Innovation

In counterpoint Innovation the focus is taking any truth and seeking to invalidate it and reviewing the by products of that invalidation as a starting point for a new branch of thinking products or services. Just think if you could go back in time and get their touch screen mobile to market in 2001 when it was ready instead of waiting till 2005 for the iPhone. How different would the world be now. Counterpoint invention allows companies to think this was and to discover hidden catalysts for invention.

Accidental Innovation

This is perhaps the one most organisations hope for, like the invention of a new stronger glue by 3M that was a failure. In fact it let you stick things and remove them constantly without much degradation in its effectiveness as ‘sticky’ but not bonding enough to be a glue. The product Post-its.

Quick Innovation

I have seen various posts focused on tightly structuring innovation that include top level components of Incremental, Disruptive, Architectural and Radical, to me these all sound expensive and time consuming. There are much quicker ways of doing innovation, in fact it can be done to a level of confirmation to proceed or not in just eight hours.

The following film shows a process for quick innovation based upon both Progression Innovation and Counterpoint Innovation both exposed through the Innova8™ process.

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