|Taking the first step
Confucius famously said that a journey of 1,000 miles starts with one step. However that first step on the journey can be very difficult, whether it is giving up smoking, changing your lifestyle or implementing change in an organization. At Strategos, we find that for those organizations that want to take the first steps on a journey to Innovation Excellence, the apprehension can be removed by applying a structured program that moves the organization forward in carefully planned stages … like having a road-map when you start your journey.Diagnose and Design
Another truism is that if you don’t know where you are starting from, it will be difficult to get to where you want to be. So, the start of any program needs to understand the current context and situation before moving on to define how you want to get to your destination.Key activities in this phase are (1) alignment of the senior team (2) understanding of key barriers and enablers to innovation (3) understanding the innovation ambition i.e. what the organization wants to achieve through innovation and (4) development of the aforementioned high level plan to take the organization forward through a series of carefully planned phases.The forward plan details implementation activities across a number of areas and although they differ for all organizations – each design should be a bespoke program – the typical focus areas that we find are:
At the same time we are starting to work with the senior leaders on setting the Innovation Direction, beginning the culture change by engaging the organization and addressing any critical innovation system aspects such as management processes or skills development.
At the same time the Capability Development work continues with more employees becoming skilled in the innovation toolset and more employees being involved in innovation initiatives. At the end of this phase we are seeing significant and tangible business results coming from the completed innovation challenges.
Scale and Embed
Of course, major business transformation programs cannot easily be described in a few hundred words and as always the devil is in the detail… but following the above simple steps should at least get you started and lead you to the correct destination i.e. an organization that is capable to use innovation to drive business success.