The Innovation Adoption Problem
The common problems of managing innovation were described very succinctlyy recently by one of our clients:
"We are not good at innovating, adopting and integrating those innovations in a timely manner, in assessment, procurement, deployment and operational use.
Many of the decisons taken do not address the threats and opportunities of each stakeholder throughout and across these phases."
Managing innovation is not a standard management skill. Why?
- Innovation is disruptive – it is not “Business as Usual”. It may well result in changing or even discarding current business practices as “not fit for purpose”. It may well change what the business does, how it does it, and what is delivered.
- Innovation is not straightforward – it probably won’t work first time. However, that is not necessarily a reason to abandon it, but to be prepared to try out alternatives and persevere.
- For any innovation to succeed, the opportunities must outweigh the threats. Many innovations fail simply because these are not understood, assessed and dealt with appropriately throughout the innovation implementation and deployment.
- Many innovations are killed by lack of communication of the net benefits to stakeholders. Thus a key stakeholder may just see a deficit in his/her area, without understanding the net gain to the business.
Based upon our experience of managing innovations in a wide range of applications, we support organisations to manage innovations by ensuring that these are all addressed:
- Collaborative Management - Each innovation needs to be incubated, developed and managed throughout its lifecycle by collaborative management involving all stakeholders – a “Team around the innovation” approach enabling all stakeholders to see the big picture (adopted from the NHS, some major construction projects and NASA)
- What Will Happen - Each innovation is planned as a programme that includes iterative elements e.g. Agile techniques from IT and aerospace
- What Could Happen – use best practice risk management to understand the threats, opportunities and associated actions (to minimise threats and maximise opportunities) and provide powerful decision support and what-if scenarios to explore alternatives
- What will ensure that it succeeds – incorporate change management practices into the programme to facilitate the transition.
At the heart of this is ensuring the involvement of all stakeholders in developing and understanding the balance of Threats vs Opportunities from each stakeholder's perspective, and working out what to do to minimise the threats and maximise the opportunities:
This ensures that actions are taken to address each stakeholder's concerns and that the net benefits of the innovation can be measured. This in turn enables those involved to explore and compare alternatives at each stage of the innovation development and deployment, to select those giving the best benefits or best return on investment. Our RiskAid software providess this collaborative. intuitive decision support, with all the tools required.
We can also support you in managing innovations for you, from identifying the problem to delivering the solution. See our Innovation Management Services.
We do this ourselves, for our own innovations in Defence and Security, so we practice what we preach, and can make it happen for you!
Do book an online discussion for an informal 30 minutes chat to find out how we do it, and how it might help you.