Often wonder why, despite your departments’ efforts and success at being innovative, the rest of your organisation just doesn’t get it and regards you as an irritant.
It may be because your organisation doesn’t have the capability nor the innovation maturity to perform consistently at this level. Some sections of your organisation can, and maybe that’s enough to be responsive to your customers/market place changing requirements but maybe not depending on whether your innovation efforts are built on a solid foundation of other complementary business principles.
Darrell Mann’s organisation (Systematic Innovation) has been reviewing what makes some organisations capable of getting it right, while others, no matter what they do, never get it right. The following comes from this research.
To be truly effective at delivering innovation, a ‘whole of organisation’ approach is needed to understand the strategy, approach and role various individuals will play. Gary Hamel (Harvard Business School), in his book titled “The Future of Management”, first introduced this concept of an evolving capability which Darrell Mann has evolved into these capability maturity levels:
|Level of innovation maturity||Type of innovation||The question to ask|
|1. Make it better through efficiency||Process Innovation – (continuous improvement/lean/six sigma) that focus on reducing variability and wastes to optimize the offering||Are we very good at ‘doing things better’, lowering costs and improving the performance every day?|
|2. Make it different||Product/Service Innovation – delivering a WOW feature/attribute to your customer||Are we very good at introducing new products and services that customers value?|
|3. Sell different||Strategy/Management Innovation – where the focus is on your business model/the way you go to market/engage your customer and the added value/services that you can deliver to your customers because they trust you and are prepared to put their hand in their pocket for more value||Are we very good at changing competition rules, changing our business models and where we compete?|
|4. Work different||Leadership Innovation -– where the focus is on being driven by different performance metrics to the classic top-line financial and bottom-line contribution numbers||Are we very good at competing against different metrics than our competitors?|
|5. Live different||Societal Innovation– Being a “force for good” and valuing Corporate Social Responsibility for what it really is and not just a feel-good/throwaway line.||Are we very good at addressing the opportunities for the whole picture, customers, partners and society?|
So what does this mean?
Your level determines your organisation’s capability for effectively performing what’s required of that level and shows you where the focus of your organisation should be to gain the most return.
So if you are a Level 1 – Process Innovation – your focus should be on Process and doing it better, focusing your efforts on Continuous Improvement (Lean/Six Sigma). A whole of organisation approach may sound daunting but is achievable through developing catalysts and innovation culture.
Likewise, for a Level 2 (where you have a solid platform of Level 1) – Doing it Better frees up resources to focus on Product & Services and utilising innovative techniques to make it differently. Championing divergent thinking/processes to be doing the RIGHT things and then doing it RIGHT using your Level 1 foundation.
And so on progressing through the levels, with each level built upon the solid foundation of previous levels.
It’s important to stress that there is nothing wrong with being a Level 1 or 2. The most important thing is to recognise where you are and doing it well.
Do you want to know where your organisation fits? Our Innovation Coaching Programs includes an in-depth assessment of current innovation maturity and the process to identify and progress innovation goals.
Contact us to learn more.