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Propelling Innovation

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This ebook is describing how to move forward with strategic framework that fuels leadership, change management and governance.

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Propelling Innovation

  1. 1. Propelling innovationMOVE FORWARD WITH A STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK THAT FUELS LEADERSHIP, CHANGE MANAGEMENT AND GOVERNANCE CHRIS JOCK
  2. 2. 03 / Innovation is, first, a state of mind 07 / Inventing a formula for innovation 11 / The vital components of innovation for every organization 15 / The qualities of innovators 19 / Resources CONTENTS /02
  3. 3. /03 01 Innovation is, first, a state of mind
  4. 4. Innovation. Aword,aconcept,acorporatebeliefsystem,anobjective, amantra. “Innovation”getsthrownaroundmanytimesadayin everycompany.Insomeorganizations,ithasdescendedtothelevel ofjargon. In other organizations, innovation is a state of mind. On factory floors, in offices or in the digital domain, creating solutions for customers and users – not just responding to what has already happened – has taken hold. These organizations have navigated beyond the discomfort of change and looked at how they govern themselves in terms of market relevance and value. Led by people who put the customer at the center of the operation, innovative companies face down fear every day and often put it to use. Some innovative companies operate in contained geographic regions, but they recognize they are now part of a global competitive arena. Maybe these companies will never encounter a significant competitive threat, but they will most certainly feel the influence of innovators – in their industries and partner circles – courtesy of digital connections and influence. These companies choose to perform in a contemporary context, so they essentially standardize innovation. They invoke flexible thinking and processes. They operate within a framework for organizing and focusing the efforts of their people dynamically. INNOVATION IS, FIRST, A STATE OF MIND /04 These companies choose to perform in a contemporary context, so they essentially standardize innovation.
  5. 5. For companies that do compete globally, the good news is that the consumer base is global. The bad news? You never know where your next competitor will appear. Or when. The truly challenging news: ensuring that your core products and services remain relevant to every potential customer and user – and that you can enhance or tailor your products according to your customers’ values. Innovation is an investment. More than a project or an initiative, innovating makes a place for you in the world. Yet innovation does not just happen because you are creative and take risks; innovation requires leadership, change management and value-centered governance. In turn, these practices are meaningless without an innovative mindset. There is one takeaway in the 21st century thus far: the companies that are embracing new ways of thinking and performing, as mobilized by technology, are changing the game for all organizations – by leading, managing change, generating value and innovating. If you are looking to keep your company exactly the way it is – exactly the way it has worked until now, with a few minor tweaks – not only are you not an innovator, you will be left behind. You are living in the transaction, not the relationship of the company to its history and future much less to the experience you deliver to customers. And this will limit you to relying on where you shave costs and find customers who are interested in a static product. INNOVATION IS, FIRST, A STATE OF MIND /05 The companies that are embracing new ways of thinking and performing are changing the game for all organizations—by leading, managing change, generating value and innovating.
  6. 6. Innovators know how to transact but they live for the relationship. Innovation is a natural consequence of having your act together – which means, essentially, that you are in business not to keep things the way they are, but to preserve the character of your company and your products or services in the context of what is happening in the world and with customers/users in this moment. A CAPACITY TO LEAD: embracing challenge, articulating strategy, setting an aggressive yet achievable course. AN APPETITE FOR CHANGE: the ability to make things happen in a measured way. A DESIRE TO ADD VALUE, BE VALUABLE AND ACT WITH VALUES: taking on appropriate risk within a governing model that mitigates risk. A MINDSET FOR INNOVATION: informing and inspiring a customer-centered operation. The fourth pillar of the enduring organization. INNOVATION IS, FIRST, A STATE OF MIND /06 Innovation is a natural consequence of having your act together.
  7. 7. /07 02 Inventing a formula for innovation
  8. 8. Setting the stage for innovation sometimes requires an act of destruction. For the company that needs a wake-up call or an injection of energy, consultant Lisa Bodell advises you to think like a competitor who wants to put you out of business. In her book, Kill the Company: End the Status Quo, Start an Innovation Revolution, Bodell suggests that the process of identifying threats and prioritizing change initiatives will light a company’s way to a positive, even radical reinvention. A company will learn of its own vulnerabilities and look at its advantages transparently – and as both stand up to competitors’ weaknesses and strengths. A dramatic kick-start to a campaign for innovation is interesting, just not useful. To sustain the momentum, the next exercise could be to think like a customer. Don’t just examine what they do, try to understand how they decide to buy your product or service. Even if your traditional marketing function raises its eyebrows at social media – or if you’ve been resisting Marketing’s push to get into social media – consider the fact that social networking is a hotbed of data waiting for your analysis and review. This is the first commercial age to have multi-layered insight into customer motivation – not just behavior – as generated by customers and users interacting with each other over products and services. Their values and perspectives are the essential sparks of innovation, capable of pointing to new ways to satisfy and serve them. And to differentiate your company in the process. INVENTING A FORMULA FOR INNOVATION /08 Invention is not enough. Tesla invented the electric power we use, but he struggled to get it out to people. You have to combine both things: invention and innovation focus, plus the company that can commercialize things and get them to people. LARRY PAGE, GOOGLE CO-FOUNDER
  9. 9. Bodell points out that benchmarking other industries is another path to the fresh thinking that spurs innovation. The companies you study don’t have to be in your industry; consider companies that have to move products the way you do or manage customer service in a similar way to your process. The practice of observing what might seem completely unrelated keeps your people open not just to new ideas but to the change required for innovation. When you think like a student, you become comfortable with testing preconceived notions about productivity, process and cost management. You uncover new paths to achievement. For every business school and consulting organization in existence, there is an innovation methodology. This is a good thing. Whether or not a company chooses to retain the counsel and support (arms and legs) of external experts to imbed or strengthen a corporate innovation exercise, the amount of research done into the subject is bountiful. After initial brainstorms, listening to the voice of the customer and studying other companies and industries, the construction of a customized innovation framework can begin with something like the process articulated by Derrick Palmer and Soren Kaplan. Their framework for strategic innovation espouses integrating external perspective with a deep understanding of the organization’s own existing practices and capabilities. They advocate looking beyond the obvious by following a sequence of activities that get the company to a state of “sustainable innovation.” INVENTING A FORMULA FOR INNOVATION The practice of observing what might seem completely unrelated keeps your people open not just to new ideas but to the change required for innovation. /09
  10. 10. A framework like this is a strong start not just to a process for pulling your organization into an innovation mindset, it expresses the importance of such a mindset to the organization’s long-term viability. The process also enables executives to introduce new operating and communication models – such as outsourcing and teams formed of employees and contractors – as important aspects of keeping the company flexible and nimble. Yet the most valuable aspect of using a framework like Palmer’s and Kaplan’s is the way in which attentive team members can tailor it to the company’s culture and desired end state. This is the most critical aspect of any framework for innovation: it must take existing means of management and operation and link them to the new ideas and practices. This improves the organization’s chances of achieving the thinking required for sustainable innovation. INVENTING A FORMULA FOR INNOVATION The process also enables executives to introduce new operating and communication models as important aspects of keeping the company flexible and nimble. /10
  11. 11. /11 03 The vital components of innovation for every organization
  12. 12. THE VITAL COMPONENTS OF INNOVATION FOR EVERY ORGANIZATION /12 Innovation—any new idea—by definition will not be accepted at first. It takes repeated attempts, endless demonstrations, monotonous rehearsals before innovation can be accepted and internalized by an organization. This requires courageous patience. WARREN BENNIS Healthy introspection • Unencumbered inward look at what needs to be fixed, what is working • Goal of understanding the current state and what can be • Knowledge-centric; clear on where the organization stands in the industry, functionally, technically and culturally Worldliness • Aware of contemporary best practices and emerging technology • Connected to the industry and its thought leaders • Knowledge or collaboration centers within the organization and membership in professional and university centers Unencumbered teams • Employees who participate in multifunctional teams and experiences • External experts and team members who contribute business and industry credentials and a fresh point of view • Flexible deployment of talent, where it is needed and on time
  13. 13. THE VITAL COMPONENTS OF INNOVATION FOR EVERY ORGANIZATION /13 Courageous leaders • Managing risk and cost without striking fear in the workforce • Setting a positive tone and a stable working environment, including managed costs • Clear about challenges • Fair • Engaged in the framework and living by the infrastructure Obsession with the customer • Innovation for them • Drives speed to market • Fully articulated customer profiles that remain in front of the process at all times • Addressing unmet needs that align with the company’s products and services Lively methodology • Reflective of company and product history • Relevant to the market • Straight management theory or an amalgam of ideas – but structured and customized • Articulated and communicated • Flexible yet precise • Improved continually
  14. 14. /14 TRADITIONAL STRATEGIC Adopt a “present to future” orientation, taking today as the starting point Start with “the end in mind,” identifying long-term opportunities and “bridges back to the present” Assume a rule-maker/taker (defensive/follower) posture Assume a rule-breaker (revolutionary) posture Accept established business boundaries/product categories Seek to create new competitive space/playing fields Focus on incremental innovation Seek breakthrough, disruptive innovation while continuing to build the core Follow traditional linear business planning models Marry process discipline with creative inspiration Seek input from obvious traditional sources Seek inspiration from unconventional sources Seek articulated consumer needs Seeks unarticulated consumer needs Is technology driven (seeks consumer satisfaction) Is consumer inspired (seeks consumer delight) May have a “one size fits all” organizational model May experiment with entrepreneurial “new venture” or other organizational structures From “A Framework for Strategic Innovation” by Derrick Palmer and Soren Kaplan Traditional versus Strategic approaches to innovation
  15. 15. /15 04 The qualities of innovators
  16. 16. Whether a word or a business concept, “innovation” conjures images of inventors (sometimes mad) and entrepreneurs (wearing hoodies). There is no universal definition of innovator, but across the ages, the qualities possessed by people who have come to be known as innovators are evident. • RIGOR: It may seem counterintuitive, but every creative process needs structure. The trick is discipline in execution balanced by the willingness to discover what isn’t working and addressing it quickly. • COLLABORATION: Partnership with people from inside and outside the company widens personal, professional and corporate horizons. • OPENNESS: “Closed” innovation frameworks give companies the option of protecting intellectual capital when they must, establishing boundaries yet continuing to explore everything that is happening around them, particularly as it pertains to customers and users. While taking this approach might required an additional layer or two of effort, a company in this position can still do a great deal of benchmarking and secondary research to preserve an orientation to innovation. THE QUALITIES OF INNOVATORS /16 Mindless habitual behavior is the enemy of innovation. ROSABETH MOSS KANTER
  17. 17. • MATURITY: Even the most successful Silicon Valley startups know that maturity is possible in workplaces that abound with less experienced workers. In the context of innovation, maturity means considering market forces, acting always with the customer and user in mind, treating people fairly, and controlling impulses. • PATIENCE: Innovation is achieved in phases, even in the most creative organizations. • DEDICATION TO DELIVERING VALUE IN PERPETUITY: Knowing that many things are out of your control, be focused on recognizing, in real time, what you can control and training all efforts on the long term. THE QUALITIES OF INNOVATORS /17 In the context of innovation, maturity means considering market forces, acting always with the customer and user in mind, treating people fairly, and controlling impulses.
  18. 18. /18 A structure for every business endeavor The “design thinking” approach invented by Ideo, the global design company. Leadership, change management, value-unlocking governance and innovation are the pillars of business today. The resulting architecture serves any type of project, function, business unit or company. Kelly Services uses these four pillars as the guideposts of every client solution we devise. Whether Kelly helps a client bring experts to a site or outsource a project or function near or far, these four pillars capture the meaning of the endeavor and provide the structure. Ideo depicts innovation as the point of intersection between business, people and technology. We see a strong reminder that an innovative mindset is as essential to viability as the three other pillars. Innovation is every organization’s call to action. VIABILITY (BUSINESS) DESIRABILITY (HUMAN) INNOVATION FEASIBILITY (TECHNICAL)
  19. 19. /19 RESOURCES • “A Framework for Strategic Innovation” by Derrick Palmer and Soren Kaplan • “Innovation: An Outside-In Approach” by Lisa Bodell • “How to Innovate the Expedition Way” by Gijs van Wulfen • “How Group Dynamics May Be Killing Innovation” in Knowledge@Wharton • “Four Types of Innovation (and How to Approach Them)” by Greg Satell • “The Open Innovation Business Model” by Larry Huston and Tim Munoz • “Design Thinking” from Ideo, the global design company • “What Do We Know About Developing and Sustaining a Culture of Innovation?” by Lynda Aiman-Smith
  20. 20. EXIT ABOUT KELLYOCG KellyOCG® is the Outsourcing and Consulting Group of workforce solutions provider Kelly Services, Inc. KellyOCG is a global leader in innovative talent management solutions in the areas of Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO), Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), Contingent Workforce Outsourcing (CWO), including Independent Contractor Solutions, Human Resources Consulting, Career Transition and Executive Coaching, and Executive Search. KellyOCG was named in the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals® 2014 Global Outsourcing 100® list, an annual ranking of the world’s best outsourcing service providers and advisors. Further information about KellyOCG may be found at kellyocg.com. © 2015 Kelly Services, Inc. ABOUT THE AUTHOR CHRISTOPHER P. JOCK is vice president and practice leader of Kelly Outsourcing and Consulting Group. Appointed to his current post in 2009, as global leader for KellyOCG’s Center of Excellence (CoE) for Global Managed Solutions, Jock works with his team to assist companies with the operational management of their core and non-core functions, ensuring and increasing efficiency, productivity and quality. No stranger to effecting and leading organizational change and transformation of varying size and complexity, he has been involved in well over thirty such projects while engaged in various roles over his career. He is well-suited and suitably experienced to be a trusted advisor to organizations that might find themselves in similar situations. He is responsible for strategy, brand relationship management and business development and support for Managed Solutions worldwide.

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