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A New Integrated Innovation Engagement System

Paul Hobcraft , Agility Innovation Specialists
05 Feb, 2018
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Paul Hobcraft, Innovation Advisor, Agility Innovation Specialists.

I have written extensively, certainly over the past eighteen months, about our need to take innovation into a new era, designed for today and tomorrow’s “fit for purpose”. Below you will see my view of how I see this sketched out, as my suggested concept outline. Does it make sense?

We have this compelling need to have a new cycle of innovation design. A more integrated solution that takes our understanding of innovation and how to manage it, into the realms of ecosystems and platforms in its design and thinking.

I wrote a piece “Jumping to a fresh cycle of innovation design” that stated much of what I saw as any design intent.

” We need to increasingly rely on problem-solving techniques that we generate through greater automated discovery and inquiry, those that emerge from analysis and data mining. So, we seek out greater applied science knowledge we will use it to support and develop practical applications based on technology and innovation. Utilitarian in its principles, seeking real-world use and implementation through a more creative, collaborative environment, leading to more discoveries that distinctly ‘blend’ the lab application with the customer discovery of unmet need. Through a blend of pattern recognition, predictive analytics and exploring cognitive computing we can change much with innovation”

“We have been steadily learning to adapt what we knew inside an organization with what we should increasingly listen to outside it. There has been an increasing emphasis on linking concepts in new and novel products and services, increasingly closer to these customer needs and desires.

We need to consider how big data and analytics, technology and a far more creative thinking needs to be applied collectively but in greater constellations of partners. We need to get far more comfortable with working in ecosystems, managed in platform designs to work more collaboratively.

Innovation management itself must become “fluid” in design, in adaptation so the right approach is to be constantly ‘adaptive’ and put together what is needed to tackle the challenge that needs resolution. A constant redesign to meet the circumstances”

“We need to be highly adaptive in what innovation applications, processes, tools, and frameworks can be grabbed, perhaps from the innovation cloud and formed into the individually designed innovation process, that looks capable of delivering the challenge or idea or can be adjusted as we learn and go”

“What type of innovation intelligence platform can be built so multiple ecosystems can form around it? It needs to be one that is integrated and connected up; in tools, methodologies, frameworks, in solution providers and collaborative clients. One that is achieving that we all are working on common problems with data intelligence, feeding into their decision-making process, evolving the discovery and the needs required through innovation, by what they are “intelligently” learning and exploring.”

We need to leverage technology in significant ways to automate the process and capitalize on the power of data, intelligence, and flexible design, delivered in highly adaptive ways.

In my view I visualize a new integrated innovation engagement platform to be like this shown below. Does it make sense to you? I think it is very feasible but it needs working upon. It is very rich in its content and thinking. Your thoughts?

It does not capture everything but it provides the scope of the undertaking. To deliver on this requires a sizable commitment from an organization wanting to lead in building an innovation ecosystem design, that brings innovation up to date, in a connected process and far more fit for purpose? I’d love to engage on this to realize its potential.

The real need is delivering a new integrated innovation engagement platform

Without a doubt, digital and physical do operate at really very different speeds. We need not only a new innovation management system, we need a modern engagement platform.

The growing pressure will be demanded to find solutions that provide a cohesive and business-focused approach to the new social enterprise, one where we seek engagement at scale into multiple arrays of communities and advocates that has data and innovation as their operating core.

I had written in a piece “Connecting Innovation is the New Order of Play” we need to apply five aspects in a new innovation roadmap, one that is required to be built on connecting and collaborating continuously:

1. Exploring innovation through more facilitated conversations and investigation, designing pathways, roadmaps, blueprints and recognizing pattern recognition. These are encouraging us all to have more expeditions of discovery. We must constantly explore the evolutionary perspective in the face of an unknown and uncertain future, to find the ’emergent properties’ to learn quickly from, so we design and build them in a more constant beta mode of validation.

2. Structuring for Asset Orchestration. This is built on the intent that you must orchestrate the capabilities constantly, to purposefully build what is needed to deliver the result and then rebuild them specifically for the next requirement or solution need, in a new learning environment. To manage and orchestrate means to lead, to frame, conduct, direct and set the tempo, that is constantly changing and for that we need to be far more adaptive and fluid in our asset deployment.

3. Aligning People, Technology, and Innovation in Design-always and each time. It is the power of combination. While experimentation speeds the time to a viable business innovation, it does not necessarily lead immediately to the kind of large-scale growth or increased market share that are usually the barometers of performance, in the core business or in any future business potential. It is the “combination effect” that is evolving at increasing speed and complexity for connecting the parts up in a full innovation engagement platform. It is constantly adapting to the needs of the project, not to the system.

4. Impact and Intensity become the new mantra. We need to be more agile, iterative, to be encouraged to be extracting, experimenting and exploring. Our world is shifting from scalable efficiency to scalable learning. Execution and Value Delivery needs to drive the whole innovation process, learning as we go and leveraging this across our network and relationships to provide insights and new knowledge.

5. Exploring and Aligning. Here we are seeing a new management model seeking increasing ‘fusion’ but still wanting to maintain degree’s of separation, we are seeking out ‘flows’ through new knowledge to break down barriers that restrict new insights so as to turn these into new value creation, and we are encouraged to seek out and establish a higher ‘fluidity’ in what we do and reduce the rigidity we presently have in place in our current organizations.We need to operate in ‘dual minds’ and structures is at last constantly striving for the innovation balance: between exploring and exploiting.

It is until we recognize that a large part of our present innovation struggle, to date, is that innovation remains hard to manage consistently well, in a repeating fashion We still strive to systematize it and then attempt to replicate any success we have, so as to achieve more, to repeat and extract efficiencies, yet more often than not we fail. Why is that?

Plain and simply, each innovation is unique, it demands different more flexible thinking. Rigidity needs to give way to flexibility. To deal with the new innovation era we need to rework our existing models and ideas and replace them with a new innovation understanding each time to extract the uniqueness out of them.

We need to build innovation in different thinking: innovation ecosystem thinking.

My third piece, published in the last few days, “Mapping our Innovation Future through Ecosystem and Platform Design” outlined the issues we need to address and overcome in any design.

We have today built-in too many constraints. They are holding us back. Boards and Senior Management have a lack of time, as they are often too busy, focusing on the day-to-day they have precious little time to think about the future. They remain extremely nervous when they do not have clear lines of insight to make what they see as riskier decisions. Finally, they are struggling with their present organizational design to adjust and adapt to the changing external world, full of uncertainties. To dither, to put decisions off, to seek out more certainty is not a position of any strength, it is the catalyst to eventual destruction. We need to face these inbuilt constraints.We need to change our mindsets.

It is finding uniqueness that becomes increasingly important and comes from new knowledge, innovation investigation, validation, and outcomes and delivered in business ecosystems that offer new customer value, it builds greater value into capital. It is the amount of capital you invest that drives the potential and today, we are increasingly finding that Ecosystems and Platforms, formed around ideas that are often too complex to be developed by a single entity, are benefiting through collaborative endeavors.

I finished with this: Ecosystem thinking can have a very transforming effect.

A suggested design for a new innovation approach

So I have provided a concept v1 of how I visualize innovation to work. It operates in its own ecosystem of design, it works through the platform, as the enabler and facilitation mechanism. You build your innovation process from all the tools and apps, applicable software that is available and evolving. You seek out collaboration and you look to co-create with necessary partners who share in your mission and can contribute their part of the value-add. You engage across all your community of partners and customers alike, constantly.

All the time through technology, experimentation, prototyping, and testing, you are in constant dialogue and co-creation with the end user, your clients or your customers. As you move towards solutions that meet their known needs or help you to “reveal” the unknowns that come out of understanding new value propositions from the ‘data and insights’ flowing in.

This requires partners working in the ecosystem, reliant on a common platform and environment where you can draw in the necessary tools, apps, and understanding from data and your analytics.

There is no question in my mind, innovation needs to be seen as an ecosystem of design. Does this make sense to you?

**This is a downloadable PDF of the above New Integrated Innovation Engagement Platform

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