Many companies commit to build innovation as a core competence. Few understand how.
Perform four critical tasks to build innovation into your corporate DNA.
Is your organization aligned to propel growth? To really deliver on your innovation strategy use the Propeller Model™ to align your people around your shared purpose.
How do you describe your organization’s innovation potential? Consider five bands to describe different levels of ambition. Where do you fit? Use the Innovation Value Chain™ provides a framework to deconstruct your current assets and liabilities in sustainable growth.
How will you lead, fund, measure and manage innovation most effectively? There are many ways to organize, but only one right answer for you—from centralized innovation labs to peripheral skunkworks, from corporate venturing to M&A. Ampersand’s Innovation Management Model™ shows four distinct organizing constructs used by leading companies. Match your culture and priorities to the right organization structure, and be prepared to customize to your match your current capability score.
Too many executives make fundamental errors about building innovation into their companies. Nothing sets back innovation more than failure born of false assumptions.
They might mistakenly believe that “innovation is everyone’s job.” Wrong!! That is the death knell for meaningful innovation. Know how and who will find tomorrow’s growth. But leave 95% of the company focused where they should be—on this quarter’s revenues.
Or they may think it’s just a matter of training. “If we just give people the skills they’ll start innovating!” Worse!! That’s like a well-intentioned belief that they can take the helm of an aircraft if you hand them an instruction manual. Run, don’t walk, for the exits.
At Ampersand, we work with our clients to help them understand what they need to do, and in what order:
- Clarify their ambition for innovation and ensure they’re aligned to pursue it.
- Diagnose their capabilities, providing an objective score across five tiers.
- Structure the organization to build from their current capabilities to their desired level.
- Assemble the specialty talents they require, both inside and beyond the boundaries of the company.
- And equip them with the tools and skills necessary to innovate as a rigorous discipline. (That’s where training among other human interventions—communications, incentives, metrics—finally makes sense.)