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 to adapt, anticipate and lead change before change leads us. Building an agile company to manage the enormous unpredictability and creative destruction going on around us is an absolute must.
Secondly we need to recognize that the capabilities and skills needed to manage in this rapidly shifting world must be different from many we provide and train into our people today. We need more ‘dynamic capabilities’: the ability to understand what is needed and apply these capabilities to the challenges on hand.
The past has simply flashed before our eyes
When you stop and think, after you have captured your breath, just reflect on what has happened in the last thirty years of where we have placed our emphasis within innovation
Firstly we focused on efficiency through innovation, then we applied quality to the process, then we introduced flexibility (leaner supply chains, smarter product processes) and recently we have moved to a more open innovation. This rapid movement or compression of innovation has been demanding, many simply have not kept up, or simply never changed and faded away
What is the future in any innovation focus?
We have skirted design innovation, we still attempt to link product and service, we are building more stand alone business models and we are experimenting with social media that seems to becoming established as Social product innovation – the practice of leveraging Social Computing principles and technologies to support the product development process, innovation and business goals, programs and resources. We are also striving to manage collaborative platforms, so as to manage projects that offer scale and market shifting paradigms. There is a giant mash up going on or mess up perhaps?
Disruptive, Radical and Volatile seems a reality
We seem to be heading into a real storm of change. Change brought on by over consuming, disposing quickly and demanding even faster, better, more improved products at ever lowering prices. This is not just a race to the bottom where commoditization lurks but where we simply will exhaust our resources, our planet and ourselves. We are facing some very unsettling times and we need to get equipped to deal with them fast in agile ways through new capabilities and competencies.
There is a race we are all in where eventually no-one wins. We need to change the race.
We do need a ‘real’ paradigm shift.
The problem is nothing stops, it simply keeps moving at ever increasing pace. We can’t consolidate, we can’t experiment as much as we would like and we can’t wait and see. We are all learning by doing and to do this we need to be highly agile, amass new capabilities and competences as we go- often on the fly, often by the seat of our pants. Innovation has become our treadmill perhaps. Can we afford to get off? To make a real paradigm shift?
What would that be? Any thoughts?
Paul Hobcraft runs Agility Innovation, an advisory business that stimulates sound innovation practice, researches topics that relate to innovation for the future, as well as aligning innovation to organizations core capabilities.