"The best way to predict the future is to create it," says leadership guru Peter Drucker. The relevance of modern artists is measured to a great degree by their ability to refresh aesthetic concepts and innovate. Many artists who are now seen as cultural leaders created the future through breakthrough work, starting with the 16th century innovator and artist, Leonardo da Vinci, through to Damien Hirst, the most successful artist of our own time.
How can you create a culture of innovation to drive long-term growth? Representatives from leading business schools Henley, Warwick, Cass and INSEAD discuss the value of innovation and the skills you need to develop
Established companies do not easily reinvent themselves. History shows us that Innovation is often the strategy of startups – but not only is it important in getting to the top, innovation is necessary in order to stay on top. New talent, new techniques, and new products are all needed to stay abreast of the competition. In addition, having a champion within the organization is imperative. Innovation executives are often the facilitator of change, and the leaders responsible for the development of corporate innovation culture. Recently McKinsey Quarterly published an article
Gesture control for smartwatches is the key mission for a startup called Deus Ex Technology. They have devised a module which can fit into a smartwatch band and behave as a gesture controller for your timepiece.
In my first article in this series, I talked about the continued, and often misplaced, focus of corporate innovation leaders on developing disruptive innovation efforts. My basic argument within the article was the while “Big I” innovation can be a valid driver of growth. However, few companies are in the right position or have laid the appropriate groundwork to support and develop new, groundbreaking ideas, especially in the context of the existing organizational culture. In this article I want to talk about the value of incremental innovation and why companies should often focus on this, rather than driving as hard as they can to come up with the next breakthrough product or service. Incremental improvements aren’t always cool, but over time they can drive significant business results.
Since innovation is a complex, company-wide endeavor, it requires a set of crosscutting practices and processes to structure, organize, and encourage it. Taken together, the essentials described in this article constitute just such an operating system, as seen in Exhibit 2. These often overlapping, iterative, and nonsequential practices resist systematic categorization but can nonetheless be thought of in two groups. The first four, which are strategic and creative in nature, help set and prioritize the terms and conditions under which innovation is more likely to thrive. The next four essentials deal with how to deliver and organize for innovation repeatedly over time and with enough value to contribute meaningfully to overall performance.
“Today any company that isn’t rethinking its direction at least every few years—as well as constantly adjusting to changing contexts—and then quickly making significant operational changes is putting itself at risk. But, as any number of business leaders can attest, the tension between needing to stay ahead of increasingly fierce competition and needing to deliver this year’s results can be overwhelming.”
— John P. Kotter, “Accelerate!”, Harvard Business Review, November 2012 Accelerating change continues to impact every facet of business. To thrive long term, business leaders must make implementing change a core competency in order to capitalize on our changing world instead of merely trying to adapt to it.
Making is becoming a very interesting topic. The maker movement, like most neo-movements, is underpinned by digital technology and enveloped by a culture which amplifies and fuels popular debate. Thinking back several years, digital technology was seen by teachers as emergent, and now, if pop-culture is any measure, 'the maker movement' is the new emerging.…
The human body serves as the perfect metaphor for understanding the innovation challenge facing today's organizations. The body is built to adapt and respond to demands that are placed upon it. The greater the demand, the stronger the response. If you and your organization are going to thrive in this world you must build and keep your innovation muscles strong. We know that only the fittest survive. Unfortunately, too many organizations suffer from overweight bureaucracies, which crush employee enthusiasm and creativity. Rather than seizing on high potential opportunities and championing a bright future, they procrastinate and deny market realities. These out-of-shape organizations find themselves falling behind on a quarterly basis because they are unable to think differently, decide quickly, and collaborate effectively. They are simply not fit enough to successfully compete and win in today’s fast paced global economy.
No single innovation tool or method will deliver consistent, profitable breakthroughs, and neither will a hodgepodge of misaligned or poorly integrated practices. It takes a systematic approach to build a systemic capability—whether that is Amazon’s logistics prowess or the near-flawless service you receive as a guest at a Four Seasons hotel. So it is with innovation. Skills, tools, metrics, processes, platforms, incentives, roles, and values all have to come together in one supercharged, all-wheel-drive, race-winning innovation machine.
So what are the parts of the innovation engine that most often get left out? Here’s our list of the top five:
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