Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend?
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Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend?
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Scooped by Deb Nystrom, REVELN!

The Tipping Point between Structure & Innovation

The Tipping Point between Structure & Innovation | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? |

"Somewhere between the two extremes exists a tipping point – a place where full creativity and the lack of structure reaches a balance with purposeful, valuable and necessary structures and processes."


Balancing structure and freedom, processes and creativity is an art, not a science.  ____________________

Move much more toward additional structure and you begin to limit and stifle creativity and innovation outcomes. 

Move much more toward freedom and creativity and you lose the ability to manage, develop and commercialize ideas. Where does the tipping point reside?

Your innovation activities need enough structure to identify and commercialize great ideas effectively, but not so much structure that people are stymied or slowed by processes, forms and decisions. 

In organizations where purposeful innovation is fairly new, the tipping point is closer to the regimented side, since there are few widely distributed capabilities or tools. As an organization gains experience innovating, the structure and rigidity become less important, as innate skills and culture learn to shape and manage ideas more effectively.

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Photo:  by lambdachialpha Flickr CC
Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

It's the art of deciding how to get the balance right: SO MANY businesses along with newbie or ill-informed managers stifle creativity, resulting in rampant mediocrity, morale problems and talent loss. Turn it around from victim, persecutor roles to encourager, challenger, collaborator, coach of your innovators.  ~  D

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Scooped by Deb Nystrom, REVELN!

Getting the Balance Right: The innovation ecosystem, Infographic

Getting the Balance Right:  The innovation ecosystem, Infographic | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? |

"The right innovation mix, core, adjacent, and transformational  depends on your business and your needs."


There are three main components of an organisation’s innovation ecosystem. Getting the balance right between these three components is crucial:


1) Balance/Mix of innovation types


2) Structure (process, capabilities, culture, funding)


3) Metrics & tracking

  • Core innovation is the largest amount of effort (70%) ...typically more incremental improvements


  • Adjacent innovation, riskier.  can involve taking existing products to new markets or, more commonly, developing value-add products or services to existing core 
  • Transformational innovation, highest risk - new products and services, new markets – big changes to the business

Read the full article here.

Scooped by Deb Nystrom, REVELN!

Bill Gates Futuring and HR/Recruiting Stuck in a Time Warp

Bill Gates Futuring and HR/Recruiting Stuck in a Time Warp | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? |

Bill Gates has been in the media of late with “My Plan to Fix the World’s Biggest Problems.”

Gates’ solution is about continuous improvement.  However Gates’ says, this is simple in concept, but often difficult to execute.  


While times have changed for most business functions, it seems that the HR and recruiting departments are stuck in a time warp, circa 1975.


1) Stop using skills and experience-based job descriptions.... Instead require the hiring manager to define the job in terms of 6-8 measurable performance objectives.

2) Measure the hiring manager’s ability to attract, develop and retain top people.

3) Never interview more than four people for any job.

4) Define Quality of Hire before the person’s hired based on a performance-based job description.

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

The author of this article uses HR and recruiting as an example of old practices that need updating as good hires (and good talent development and succession planning) are the front door to smart, high performance cultures.

Balanced scorecards began to be used for the very reason of taking HR's people hire impact into a balanced account of measurement, beyond finance to internal business, learning and growth.

Using performance based job descriptions and innovation (refurbishing boring jobs) can be transforming to organizations still working from a 70's model of HR.

Be aware, overdoing metrics also has drawbacks, such auto companies over-relying on measurement, via ill-conceived management purges (that also appeared age-driven.)  Staffers served in roles as mentors that also produced lower numbers in their metrics because they were taking time to help newly hired and learning youngers.  The lack of a systemic focus lowered productivity and morale at the same time.  

~ Deb

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