Author Archives: Paul Hobcraft

With many of the leading developed and developing countries experiencing a contracting economic performance we are getting caught in a ‘catch 22’ situation. The more our firms do not expand, the lower the innovation productivity rate. The lower the productivity rate, the tougher it becomes to improve standards of living, boost skills, deepen capabilities, keep competitive and find those more distinctive new products to grow the market before competitors do. Innovation productivity actually raises the competitive game Innovation productivity is actually a sustaining engine for wealth and job creation surprisingly. The more you improve speed, efficiency and scale you attract others to adopt similar approaches. The raise in productivity happens when others adopt improved ways to equally compete, the benefits start to spread and this drives innovation productivity.   Here’s how it goes: the more efficient we become, the more effective and …

Posted in Build Capability, Government, Innovation | 3 Comments

To achieve success you not only have to have a repeatable process but you have to ensure what is learnt ‘sticks’ so it can be used again and again. The company we associate the most with when it comes to ‘sticky’ is 3M for its famous invention of ‘sticky notes’. They are used everywhere. Innovation needs more than a simple sticky note though Motivational Glue leads to stickiness. Besides ‘sticky’ we need something I’ll call motivational glue. A glue that binds between knowledge and learning to become a series of building blocks for innovation. These motivate us to keep thinking, pushing and developing our ideas into final products or services. As you know innovation is made up of both tangibles and intangibles. Tangibles are more physical whereas intangibles are often our real hidden assets of knowledge, the intellectual assets that lie within our business. These can be made of firstly, … Continue reading

Posted in Innovation, Management, Psychology | 1 Comment
What are the new paradigms in innovation?

There are some huge shifts taking place across innovation activities. The simple fact that innovation has been thrown open and organizations and individuals can simply explore outside their existing paradigms is offering us something we have yet to fully grasp and leverage. This is a W-I-P for us all. Secondly innovation is simply getting faster, better is another story, but it is expected to move from idea or concept to final launch in ever decreasing compressed time As they say ‘you can’t have one without the other’. Open innovation is potentially allowing for this compression of time but where we still ‘lag’ is within our organizations to reap the rewards. Why? We are still stuck in the previous structures, systems and processes designed for internal developments that were designed for different times. We need two really critical things really fast. The speed of change needs agility. We need to learn … Continue reading

Posted in Innovation, Management | 5 Comments
Innovation Rates of Exchange

Innovation happens across time. We often constrain our innovation because we ‘shoe horn’ any conceptual thinking into a given time, usually the yearly budgetary plan seems to exercise a large influence in this constraining. We should make the case that different types of innovation operate and evolve over different time horizons. I call this the innovation rates of exchange. A little of the theory: Coherence between organizational context and coordination of outcomes is subject always to those natural tensions of planning, resource allocation and the time imposed. Often decisions have a real tension built into them and they ‘shear’ against the real forces in play. Like our tectonic plates ‘shear’ and cause earthquakes, the ‘shear’ effect has a disruptive influence on innovation outcomes. Often the time horizon of possible desired innovation often has these real conflicts. The actual realities and needs of the organization we lower the innovation impact …

Posted in Innovation, Management, Processes & Tools | 2 Comments
Innovation as a Means for Economic Evolution

Here is the first response to the Topic of the Month. Economic growth is an outcome of the innovation trajectory we set. Today managing innovation is complex; often success is measured and valued by the creative destruction of others. The ability to ‘evolve’ is very determinant on the knowledge base, either within a given economy or within a ‘federation’ to bring together as something new, offering more value than what is on offer today. Innovation is highly dynamic in its constant change but also in its needs of constant co-ordination of its parts. Nations are Very Different No one nation can just copy another, the same as one business entity cannot simply copy another, each has distinct characteristics, a history and a certain set of ‘physical’ boundaries on where it is located. Different cultures, different histories set each Nation apart. The main differences of Nations requiring to innovate they simply … Continue reading

Posted in Innovation, Topic Of The Month | 2 Comments
Renewing Innovation - Social Innovation Agenda

The challenges are growing in their social dimension across Europe, the United States and a host of other countries, both developed and developing, that are needing new fresh responses. Social demands will inevitably increase as nations are being confronted with budgetary constraints, increased deficits and mounting debts to resolve. Social needs will become more pressing and innovation, social innovation, will increasingly explore opportunities to extract ‘more from less’. Innovation can play an increasing part in resolving social challenges that are increasingly confronting us. Starting a new movement on social innovation in Europe Recently I became a member of www.socialinnovationeurope.eu. I certainly feel this is going to offer something exciting and vibrant. It is a growing community of thinkers, creators and innovators with the knowledge and skills to change the way we face Europe’s most pressing issues. Contributors to the site will take a strong hand in shaping the direction …

Posted in Innovation | 3 Comments
How can innovation decouple growth and consumption?

Some weeks back the International Herald Tribune (June 7th, 2011) offered a view by Chandran Nair, the CEO of Global Institute for Tomorrow, under the title Can the planet support more Americas? Then this week an article Over-innovation makes US firms suck at Sustainability because they are too innovative by Jens Martin Skibsted and Rasmus Bech Hansen. Each makes me stop and come back to my deepening view we have to decouple growth and consumption through innovation. This is not an easy subject but let me lay out some opening views and thoughts. Why bother? Well I really do believe we need to radically change our approaches through the use of applying innovation in new ways. These two articles added further to my personal concerns that we do need to (quickly) come out of the denial we seem to have in all societies. Innovation needs to be radically applied in … Continue reading

Posted in Innovation, Psychology, Strategy, collaboration | 5 Comments