Innovation praxis

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Information about Innovation praxis

Published on September 16, 2014

Author: brahmax



Innovation is a continuous practice. The document describes leadership principles and an architecture for creating a practice.

©Living Enterprise, Inc. 2014. All rights reserved innovation praxis towards perpetual recurring emergence – making innovation second nature h:p://

©Living Enterprise, Inc. 2014. All rights reserved innovation praxis principles Organizations must balance exploration and exploitation as they evolve. There is often more focus on operational excellence while innovation competence remains underdeveloped. Organizations develop innovation excellence through practice, but must simultaneously create a supportive ecosystem to develop, nourish and sustain it. Innovation is a continuous way of being and not an event. It must become a pervasive practice in all aspects of the organization, but requires time and support to evolve. Neither top-down or bottom-up approaches alone are effective in driving innovation excellence. Hybrid approaches that systematically drive innovation initiatives while also encouraging spontaneous emergent approaches provide the right balance. Active learning, knowledge frameworks and integration mechanisms are crucial to ensure innovation contributes to strategic objectives. Organizations must invest in and formally manage innovation capability till it becomes second nature and pervasive.

©Living Enterprise, Inc. 2014. All rights reserved innovation praxis leadership (HOME) Expand Expand the dimensions of space-time within which agents can operate. Mobilize Empower Change agents – Educate, Skill. Increase degrees of freedom - Broaden participation. Break Norms and Rules. Open boundaries – internal and external.. Enable Sociality – Connecting, Grouping, Exchange of Social Capital Provide Access to Resources – Fluidize tangible and intangible resources and provide tools for access to them. Orchestrate Diffusion and Transmission of Innovation within and across enterprise boundaries Create Reflexive and Learning practices – build on previous experience Leverage assets Enable planned and serendipitous collisions Harness Provide Beacons - purpose and an architecture of meaning Protect Rights Move to a higher order Recognize positive deviants early, Amplify

©Living Enterprise, Inc. 2014. All rights reserved praxis architecture program platform practice portfolio Innovation should be second nature and part of an organization’s living culture. It is in that sense a praxis, that grows in maturity over time. The four pillars, practice, platform, program and portfolio together provide an architecture for the ecosystem and enable the praxis. They provide a framework for an innovation center-of-excellence (CoE). The Praxis creates a lexicon and grammar for innovation in the enterprise Each of these pillars calls for distinct capabilities, practices and resources. Together they create an enabling environment that fosters innovation competence and is leveraged in various ways. While a less mature praxis might have all of these pillars manifested in informal ways, enterprises that recognize the critical importance of innovation, must have deliberate initiatives on all these fronts. Each of these domains evolve over time and must respond to changing demands on the enterprise.

©Living Enterprise, Inc. 2014. All rights reserved practice Innovation is a social process. In an ideal situation innovation becomes a pervasive practice that l i v e s a l o n g s i d e o p e r a t i o n a l practices and does not have designated practitioners. There are however distinct bodies of knowledge, practices, capabilities and systems that need organizational focus and attention. Formal and informal arrangements among practitioners together form the corpus of innovation practice. Excellence requires making innovation practice a strategic concern. It also requires resources and investments in order to develop and mature. Innovation practice, in addition to contributing to various capabilities, provides important inputs to an enterprise’s innovation strategy. Practitioners form formal and information communities of practice (CoP). These CoP’s provide a critical foundation to the Innovation Praxis. One of their primary roles is to capture learning from real innovation project experience and share knowledge among practitioners. They define innovation capabilities and contribute to their development. Practitioners contribute to the design of innovation modes and their associated methods, tools and techniques. They together form the organization’s institutional memory and host the innovation culture. S u c c e s s f u l a n d m a t u r e p r a c t i c e s c a n significantly contribute to accelerating innovation outcomes.

©Living Enterprise, Inc. 2014. All rights reserved platform Innovation takes different forms across the enterprise. Practitioners need enablers such as resources, assets, and capabilities they can rely and draw upon. Practitioners also need tools and systems to support and augment the effectiveness of innovation modes. Together such enablers create a supportive open environment that is accessible to all. Among important enablers are culture, conducive facilities, and opportunities that encourage individual and collective behaviors such as serendipitous interaction, c o l l a b o r a t i o n , r i s k - t a k i n g , entrepreneurship, and creativity. An innovation practice in a healthy ecosystem cannot flourish without a supportive platform. Platforms support the diverse range of innovation activities across the enterprise and are designed to diffuse practice. They are an open and accessible resource that actively develops capabilities. Leveraging intellectual assets and the fluid flow of knowledge across the enterprise are critical to driving innovation in the current economy. Among the components that inform an innovation platform are systems and practices that support knowledge management. Value creating systems rely on co-creating value both externally and internally. An innovation platform encourages and supports collaborative co-creation across enterprise boundaries. Various innovation activities are effectively supported by automation software. Tools and systems should be an integral part of an innovation platform. Physical and virtual spaces and facilities such as labs, design studios are important to an innovation platform. In general innovation platforms should drive excellence in sense-making, foresight and anticipation, creativity, decision-making, design, collaborative action and learning.

©Living Enterprise, Inc. 2014. All rights reserved program Innovation is increasingly strategic to the success of an enterprise. It is also a praxis that needs development and nurturing in order to become pervasive and deliver on strategic aspirations. Organizations need to systematically organize initiatives to ensure development of an innovation ecosystem and praxis. This would include the cultivation of an innovation practice, development and provision of platforms and the creation and management of a portfolio of projects that become the basis for experiential learning. This multi-dimensional challenge needs the organizational and management discipline of a program effort. Innovation Programs coordinate and manage the multi-dimensional challenge of building innovation excellence and praxis. Programs evolve over time to account for the changing needs of the organization. The objective of a Program is to drive an organization towards a stage where innovation becomes ingrained and pervasive. An Innovation strategy must derive from the strategic aspirations and architecture of the enterprise. It develops an approach to choosing innovation methods from the wide range of available ones that are appropriate to the kinds of challenges the organization faces. The Innovation Program establishes a governance structure that guides the innovation efforts in the enterprise, establishes performance metrics, policies and assesses progress. The Program regularly creates, sponsors, and manages a portfolio of projects and ensures that the portfolio is balanced to address short and long-term needs. One of the important tasks of the Program is to establish incentives and recognize excellence. The Program provides visible leadership, communicates and models the culture that fosters innovation.

©Living Enterprise, Inc. 2014. All rights reserved portfolio Innovation efforts are often d i r e c t e d t o w a r d s s h o r t - t e r m o p e r a t i o n a l a n d i n c r e m e n t a l objectives. S u p p o s e d l y f o r w a r d - l o o k i n g initiatives are often extensions of existing paradigms and not oriented towards probing, exploring an uncertain future or providing inputs that would lead to disruptive impact. Innovation portfolios lack the balance between operational and e x p l o r a t o r y i n t e r e s t s , a n d insufficiently oriented towards the future. Formal innovation programs manage a portfolio of innovation projects. The project portfolio is designed to serve the short-term operational and incremental needs of the organization as well as the future-oriented strategic needs. The portfolio of innovation projects changes over time and is designed to meet the strategic needs of the organization. Ideas and motivations for project candidates can originate across the organization. It is the role of program governance to create a portfolio that is appropriately balanced, but does not eliminate promising ones. Projects within a formal innovation program should leverage platform capabilities and practices so that they contribute to and become a part of the overall learning endeavor, and enhance the capabilities and maturity of the platform over time.

©Living Enterprise, Inc. 2014. All rights reserved thank you! Sudhir Desai, Principal

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