beyond that. Successful implemen- tation of ideas requires us to get out of Te Ghetto, and work together across silos, or ‘islands of expertise’. Some companies have imple-
mented Te Ghetto: they’ve set up an innovation lab in a dedicated building, usually full of bean bags, toys and creative people. Te positive of that is it frees people from the demands of the daily business to dedicate themselves to an innovation challenge. Te opportunity is that by
Behind every great innovator is a great innovation network
bringing a critical mass of innovators together we can accelerate the process. However, one of the main issues
is that by saying that innovation is happening in Te Ghetto, you’re giving the message that it doesn’t need to happen in the rest of the organisation. Te Ghetto needs to be connected with the rest of the business. Even without Te Ghetto, manag- ers need to connect across many differ- ent boundaries inside the organisation to get from ‘idea’ to ‘implemented value’. Middle managers are uniquely positioned to help do this. When one of us took on a role that had the word ‘innovation’ in it, it helped him to see his responsibilities as ‘connecting ideas to ideas, ideas to people and people to people’.
Learn this: boundary spanning
Managers indicate that collaboration across business units is the most important boundary to span when it comes to innovation, and there can also be important hierarchical, stakeholder, geographical and demographic divides. CCL research recommends a process to collaborate
across these organisational boundaries: ``
Create safety – by defining roles and responsibilities.
`` `` ``
Create respect – by representing perspectives of the other group.
Create trust – by connecting with colleagues from the other group on a personal level.
Create a community – by working on a shared innovation mission.
14 | December 2016 | Beyond heroes
Innovation is a team sport Both leadership and innovation suffer from the hero cult. In fact, behind every great innovator is a great innovation network. Tomas Edison didn’t invent all by himself – nor did any of the great innovation heroes for that matter. Here’s a question for you: if
you were to give out a reward for a successful innovation, who would you give it to? Te person with the original idea, the people who clarified the business need and market potential, the people who thought the concept completely through end-to-end or the people who scaled it up and rolled it out? A lot needs to happen before an
idea is transferred into implemented value – and this explains why it’s a team sport. CCL’s Targeted Innovation
Process distinguishes four parts: ``
Clarifying the challenge we are trying to solve.
`` `` ``
Ideating to generate the idea(s) to solve this challenge.
Developing the idea into a proven solution.
Implementing and scaling up the solution.
An interesting research finding by
Gerard Puccio is that people tend to have preferences for certain parts of the innovation process. Tis highlights the need to abandon the idea that innovation is done by a single hero, as all parts are equally important. In all the innovation workshops we
have delivered, the group preference around ‘develop’ has been the weakest one. Tat may indicate a self-selecting audience who goes to innovation work- shops or who work on innovation pro- jects or live in the innovation ghettos. We think it actually indicates a blind spot in the whole innovation process. Equally, in most of the innovation
workshops we facilitated, the strongest group preference was ‘ideating’. Tat may partly explain why people in innovation roles want so much focus
on the creativity part of innovation. But once again: if you care about getting results through innovation, you need to care about all phases. We often get the question about what the ideal network for innovation looks like. Is it, for example, a closed network (where most people know and communicate with each other) or an open network (where a person is connected with individuals who are not connected to each other), or a diverse network (an open network where you broker between different disjointed groups)? Is it a collection of superficial ties (casual relations) or strong ties (people you have deep professional relationships with)? Te answer is: it depends. Te effectiveness of our network
depends on the phase of the innovation process. Weak ties and an open network will serve us well in the clarification and ideation phases. When it comes to implementation, we need
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