Why do so many people see innovation as a puzzle that needs to be navigated?

Is it because many of us to feel confused because we do not really understand what it really means, from the societal, organisational, leadership, team, cultural and coaching perspectives? Is it also because applying innovation is like preparing to run a marathon, and sustaining the will, motivation, and physical and emotional energy to actually run the final lap and win it?  Might people also see innovation as a puzzle because, they don’t understand how to apply it strategically and systemically, to help the world, and all of us, adapt and revive and reinvent our lives, communities, businesses, industries and societies as a whole, in transitioning successfully toward a post Covid-19 future?

Why is innovation important right now?

Innovation is the leading indicator of an organisations ability to sustain future success, build competitive advantage, and shift industry leadership to be agile in a disruptive world. For society at large, innovation is a key driver of economic growth, survival, as well as a means of improving the quality of people’s lives, and towards creating smarter, resilient sustainable futures.

For organisations innovation is a key driver for:

  • Building growth through scaling and leveraging technologies, processes and systems.
  • Delivering increased value (products and services) to customers in ways they appreciate and cherish.
  • Delivering productivity and efficiency gains that improve business performance, increase competitiveness, revenue, growth, and ROI.

For leaders, teams, and individuals, innovation is a key driver for:

  • Unleashing and harnessing people’s potential and collective genius to adapt, learn, and grow, to safely, be, think, and do things differently in ways that are valued, appreciated, and cherished.

How do we define innovation?

Innovation simply involves making changes that add value, especially in the hearts and minds of users or customers. This is because customers are demanding increasing value in exchange for their hard-earned financial resources, and our competitors are constantly offering higher-value goods and services at consistently lower costs, through a range of fast, and agile distribution channels.

The focus now is on creating value in ways that clients and customers value and cherish, like Amazon, Google, and Apple have done so successfully.  Because customers are now incredibly savvy and have a multitude of options, especially via the flea market of the internet.

Research by Clayton Christensen reveals that If you develop a product, process, or service and it doesn’t help the customer get a job done, then there is no causal mechanism that makes the customer buy or use your product, process, or service. This causes us to not only explore, discover and redefine what value means in the eyes of the user, and to also to find new ways of connecting people as to how a product or service can:

  • Make their lives better.
  • Connect them to a broader community.
  • Connect them to something bigger than themselves.
  • Add value to the triple bottom line; people, profit, planet.

What is the innovation process?

Innovation is knowing how to be present, see, respond to opportunities, and solve problems in creative ways that people value and cherish.

  • Creativity involves imagining, wondering, and wandering to conceive fresh insights, ideas, or plans to create something original, novel, new, or interesting.
  • Invention involves experimenting, iterating, and pivoting to build or create something original, novel, new, or useful that has not been made before.
  • Innovation involves creating and inventing something so valuable to users and customers, that it is widely adopted by the market, replacing existing solutions in a majority of appropriate use cases.

 What are the key elements of innovation as a puzzle?

At ImagineNation™ we applied our 30 years of experience in Learning and Development to create, iterate, and pivot an innovative curriculum that spans both the front and back ends of innovation.

This helps solve the innovation as a puzzling conundrum, by focussing on cultivating the intrinsic motivators, mindsets, behaviours, and skills of effective innovators, across 5 key learning elements:

  1. Connect with self, and others, by sensing and then empathising with an opportunity or problem, by connecting and associating with the patterns and trends emerging in the whole system or social field.
  2. Explore by adopting a paradox lens, coupled with an open mind, heart, and will as to “what is and with “what could be” possible.
  3. Discover cracks, emerge openings, and thresholds by applying the generative skillset to create inflection points that emerge through breakthrough mindsets and high-value new ideas.
  4. Design by using human-centered design thinking and start-up methodologies to invent high-value solutions that when tested and verified, customers will appreciate and cherish.
  5. Deliver commercial, impactful and sustainable outcomes, through agile, scrum, and start-up methodologies and organisational culture developments that embody and enact inclusion, collaboration, and accountability in ways that people value and cherish.

Navigating innovation as a puzzle

Where coaches are trained to develop subtle skillsets as teachers, transformers, innovators, and mentors and are trained to work with innovation, creativity, and consciousness as co-creative frequencies.

Innovation coaches enable and empower leaders and teams to evoke new ways of knowing, being, and acting through integrating a strategic and systemic perspective, change management disciplines, and deep learning approach to build innovation agility.

To support them to adapt, collectively, and consciously reimagine, reinvent, remake and grow their people, teams, and organisations. Through establishing trust, psychological safety, and collective holding spaces that unleash creative insights, collective breakthroughs to emerge and invent innovative solutions in a disruptive VUCA world.

Download our Innovation Coaching e-book here.

Read our Innovation Coaching e-book online here.

Find out about The Coach for Innovators Certified Program, a collaborative, intimate, and deep personalised innovation coaching and learning program, supported by a global group of peers over 8-weeks, starting October  20, 2020. It is a blended learning program that will give you a deep understanding of the language, principles, and applications of a human-centred approach to innovation, within your unique context. Find out more.

Contact us now at mailto:janet@imaginenation.com.au to find out how we can partner with you to learn, adapt, and grow your business in the digital age.