I would like you to consider the title “What is your innovation DNA?” and think about it in terms of your organisation. Whether you are a founder, company executive, board member, part of the management team or an employee, how would you answer this question?
In recent articles on this site I have explored the topic of EveryDay innovation and Becoming an EveryDay Innovator. The challenge facing organisations seeking to build a culture of innovation is: How can you make innovation a part of everyone’s job, in every team, at every level in your organisation? It is a serious challenge to organisations and one we must heed. The world around us is changing rapidly and uncertainty is the norm. It is essential that businesses of all sizes, in all sectors are intelligent, collaborative and agile. Implicit within this is an understanding of your innovation DNA as a business.
In order to unpick this question a good starting point is to run an innovation maturity assessment. The best of these assessments will drill down and really help you get into the business at a granular level and begin to understand the innovation drivers within your business. Once you have your benchmark maturity level and understand the innovation status quo, you can assess this against where you expected to be and work on the deltas. In this article I wanted to explore what the DNA of an EveryDay innovator organisation might look like, the Mr or Mrs Perfect DNA, or at least some of the key components of it.
- You have a clear, organisation-wide definition of innovation
- Innovation is a long-term strategy
- Your core innovation efforts address known customer problems, wants and needs and you can empirically back this up?
- Leaders show a consistent commitment to innovation and are true innovation champions and mentors
There is typically not a great deal of true innovation experience and capability at the leadership level in business. I don’t mean to say that leaders haven’t done innovation or been involved in it during their careers, but building innovation as an embedded and integral part of the organisational culture involves a lot more than most leaders have experienced, and the world around them keeps moving so fast. It is essential, that leaders recognise this and seek to build their own capability and knowledge, but also support others across the business in becoming truly enabled and empowered innovation champions.
- Innovation is seen as a part of everyone’s job
- The right tools for the job
So what is your innovation DNA? I would love to know what people think. Where are you on the innovation readiness curve and what aspects of the above or others do you think make the innovation magic happen in your businesses?
By Simon Hill, CEO of Wazoku