Skandia Team GBR

Monday, April 23, 2007

The Innovation Hose (Part 1)

So this is an "apps strategy" piece of thinking that came to me at the point of being unteathered from Serco last month.

The concept is simple, the "application" of the concept probably less so. This is for those people in the world that crave for their existance to make a little difference to their world, the company they work for and its customers, innovation is key and innovation is integral to any organisation that is delivering applications, whatever the platform and whatever the sector.

Innovation is mostly driven from the "core" outwards to its intended recipients, so if you are an innovator its your job to give that innovative concept a shove upwards through the organisation and out to the customer(s), trouble is I, you, we are usually just one person or at best a small minority so its often bleedin' hard to get those ideas "out there".

So to keep our karma balanced and in good order we need to be working in scenarios that enable us to to be innovators, make a difference and excel... we need to be working in an environment that has an "Innovation Hose" embedded in it.

So what do you need to look for and what attributes does an organisation have to exhibit for you to stay clear....

The initial thing to start looking for is the gut feeling that innovation is part of the fabric, thats certainly a good start but not the whole thing, there's a lot that can affect the flow of your innovation...

The prime thing to do is to ascertain what "accelerators" and "blockers" exist from your position in the company right up to the customers and then weigh up whether the organisation will support your natural enthusiasm and passion for innovating and basically doing good for the organisation and its customers...

Accelerators - these need to include supporters who will either push or push-and-add-value to your ideas within the next two layers of management, they must definately include sales teams that are passionate and can articulate your visions and lastly the board, you need substantial backing to either your specific idea or to the concepts of innovation.

Blockers - these are any one or anything that will slow, confuse, detract or divery your innovation from flowing through the organisation; examples include lack of focussed sales resources, lack of management backing and Senior or board level opposition or lack of interest.

So you need to let innovation through, the organisation needs to allow ideas, thoughts and innovations to move through the organisation, not necessarily straight up an' out but always upwards, not loosing momentum and ideally gaining in strength and value... These kinds of organisations will be easy to spot, it should be obvious that they have the right teams, the right attitude and the right ethos to enable innovation to flow.

In the applications worlld this is especially key, the apps world is moving at such a pace that not having an Innovation Hose will ultimately bring about failures. The right organisation for you is one that has a clear Applications Strategy that instantly demonstrates that they have a hose and they're not afraid to use it for the combined benefit of the customer and the organisation; if its not obvious, if the waters murky, drying up or non-existant then get the hell out...

I'll leave you with the title of the second in this series... The Innovation Hose with Customer Sprinkler Attachment!

[Bonus Link] Martyn Proctor was my Innovation Hose (and still is just in a different context), sometimes when the guy who squeezes the hose to get more power or more spray leaves, you need to start thinking about where you really belong if noone else picks up the hose or kills the blockers!

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