- What do knowledge, skills, co-creation and values have to do with innovation?
- How can I look to the ‘core’ of innovation so I can plan for the future?
Some theorists have tried to identify this ‘core’ by specifying ‘pillars of innovation’, so there are many views about what these pillars are:
2) culture and climate
3) structures and processes
In a 2006 article
, Larry Wendling at 3M identified 7 pillars (also pre-conditions):
1. From the chief executive on down, the company must be committed to innovation.
2. The corporate culture must be actively maintained.
3. Innovation is impossible without a broad base of technology.
4. Talk, talk, talk.
5. Set individual expectations and reward employees for outstanding work.
6. Quantify efforts.
7. Research must be tied to the customer.
More recently Ali & Bull (2012 )
identified 5 principles for successful business innovation:
1. Leadership empowers innovation
2. Interest networks are leveraged
3. Ideation and development occur as close to the customer as possible
4. Rewards and measurement systems are aligned
5. Underpin creativity with a structured process
These are all useful for devising checklists to see if your organisation ‘measures up’ now. However, they do not give a framework for devising future strategy as organisations evolve or a lens through which to view everyday developments and allow them to be fitted into your own planning framework.
The next requirement is to identify the foundation concepts or themes of innovation. Don Tapscott has used a succession of books, papers, blogs and speeches over many years to identify and track these themes, which I will call the ‘pillars of innovation’. A sample of these references will be available in the resources area of the site.
Tapscott (2012) Winning with the Enterprise 2.0
has studied the impacts of preparing for innovation on many functional areas of business and has identified ten main areas or ‘themes’ which he calls the ’10 Dimensions of Change in Firms’.
Theme 1: World View – Think Global, Act Global
Theme 2: Corporate Boundaries
Theme 3: Value Innovation
Theme 4: Intellectual Property
Theme 5: Modus Operandi
Theme 6: Business Processes
Theme 7: Knowledge and Human Capital
Theme 8: Information Liquidity
Theme 9: Relationships
Theme 10: Information Technology
- acting globally
In Wikinomics he develops these, with many useful examples. There is an updated book entitled Macrowikinomics
(2010). These pillars are very rich concepts which will be used repeatedly to analyse innovation strategies and innovation-related events. Simplified definitions are provided below:
A form of corporate transparency which can improve customer trust. It also summarises the increased likelihood, in this highly connected world, that companies doing the wrong thing will get ‘found out’. As Tapscott points out in the Huffington Post
, compromise of individual privacy is not part of openness, which only relates to corporate entities.
Working with others to achieve outcomes not possible working alone. Collaboration can involve experts inside and outside companies for business as well as individuals pursuing social outcomes.
Collaborative production of innovative goods and services by self-organised groups who may gather for ideological reasons as well as economic gain. (eg Wikipedia as a competitor of Britannica).
A knowledge barter system which may involve knowingly trading corporate intellectual property for other business benefits.
An understanding that the sizes of entities and their geographical locations are less important than the synergies or benefits they can bring. As a business, your customers, suppliers and competitors (large and small) are global and the barriers to entry have never been lower.