Tag Archives: Innovation

Measuring an innovation ecosystem

how do you measure an innovation ecosytem?

How do you measure an innovation ecosystem?

This is a topic of discussion worth your time. Next week, Thursday February 12 at 9 AM PT, I’ll be co-hosting an #innochat discussion about measuring an innovation ecosystem. If you are new to Innochat, just jump on Twitter and follow the hashtag #innochat to join the discussion.

Hope to see you there 🙂

Here are some questions we’ll use to frame our discussion:

What are the fundamental outcomes of innovation?

What are the fundamental outcomes of innovation

Innovation is the successful introduction of something new. And fundamentally, it is the direct result of questioning the status quo; that which precedes it. So, when setting out to change the status quo it is useful to ask yourself: what’s the outcome we want?

It’s a basic question, but one that no one seems to think about. Here then, I’ll elaborate on the fundamental outcomes of innovation…

A cheat sheet of 19 different types of business models

To change the game, change the business model. But, what if you can’t find one?

Well, HBR published an article on business models that has the following cheat sheet of 19 different business models that you can brainstorm and adapt to a new venture.

Architecting the Invisible: Creating a Culture of Innovation

For innovation create chaos“Without order, nothing can exist. Without chaos, nothing can evolve”.

Just found this is great talk by Greg Horowitt, Chief Evangelist and Co-Founder of T2 Venture Creation, about what it takes to create a culture of innovation. It’s about belief systems; both a mindset and heart-set.

Therefore, what does it take to solve problems in the world? It’s your imagination, because often the knowledge to solve a new and different challenge doesn’t yet exist. Innovation requires experimentation and iteration; evolution. It is human-centric. New beliefs lead to new behaviors, which lead to better actions and outcomes.

For innovation: More prototypes, less powerpoints

rapid prototyping innovationRadically better products don’t stand on the shoulder of giants, but on the shoulders of lots of iterations. The basis for success then, and for continual product excellence, is speed. – Eric Schmidt

Indeed. Scrappy startups are known for acting with speed and conviction, while established organizations are slow and risk averse. When implemented well, speed and surprise are the ultimate equalizers. To achieve surprise, you need an unexpected idea first. Second, you need to have the ability to execute that idea. Third, you need to decide when and how to execute the idea.

It is at the moment of making the decision where most established organizations fail. Why? Because most large organizations don’t empower their employees to make decisions.

No standard behavior change, no innovation

“After this, the world will never be the same…” Those are the words a true innovator should say with complete conviction about their product or service because a world-changing outcome is what she/he sees in the future. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case on most occasions.

Most entrepreneurs I know aim to make money by taking advantage of a need. This is the most obvious path to “innovation”, but is satisfying an existing need innovative?

Will Chief Innovation Officers still exist in five years?

Will Chief Innovation Officers still exist in five years?

A recent article in Fast Company touched on the topic of CIOs (Chief Innovation Officer) and how they’ve become more ubiquitous inside large organizations. This is an enterprise innovation tactic years in the making. But, do they actually mean anything?

My take is that in the CEOs call for innovation, there is also a jump for innovation by placing the responsibility for innovation on a single person: the Chief Innovation Officer. Frankly, the Chief Innovation Officer is more akin to placing blame on someone for being “disrupted”; other than the CEO. Why? Because it is a reactive move; not a proactive one.

The CIOs job is to maneuver the business around irrelevance. Giving someone a title can have unintended consequences such as ego driven decision making, which usually leads to blown opportunities and ideas that never had the chance to take off.

And that’s the problem.

If your organization is truly committed to innovation, which it should, then the CEO needs to be the CIO (chief Innovation Officer), period. His job is to set the context for innovation to happen anywhere in the organization; not just R&D, marketing, a team from McKinsey or some special forces team.

There are signs that will tell you when you’ve created an innovation primordial soup, one is ideas are valued more than hierarchy; not the other way around. To be clear, I’m not saying Chief Innovation Officers are worthless, I’m saying we shouldn’t see them as a sign that “innovation” is going to happen.

So, will Chief Innovation Officers still exist in five years? Hopefully not. The better question to ask is, “how might we change organizations so in the next 5 years innovation is expected and not mandated?”.

Bottom line: Innovation can’t be owned or mandated, it needs to be allowed. You can’t tell innovative people to be innovative, but you can let them. Unleash the black sheep and get out of their way; rest assured they’ll innovate.