Platt Perspective on Business and Technology

Innovators, innovation teams and the innovation process 19 – long-term considerations and building collaborative innovation into the overall strategic process

Posted in HR and personnel, strategy and planning by Timothy Platt on August 15, 2013

This is my nineteenth installment in a series on innovators and the process of innovation (see HR and Personnel, postings 154 and following for Parts 1-18.)

I have been discussing up to here in this series, the organization as a whole and developing better and more collaborative communications patterns within it. Innovation and collaboration can arise anywhere in an organization that is open to supporting that as a source of sustaining value. But even when innovation arises from this from the bottom up, starting with hands-on non-managerial employees who have great ideas, the pattern of practices coming from the top can have a powerful shaping influence. This is definitely a situation where “do as I say and not as I do” cannot work.

• Members of the executive team and of the executive strategy development team that might at least start out as a smaller subset of that, need to open themselves up to inclusion in the ongoing in-house conversation too.
• This is essential if the strategic and operational decisions that they make for the overall organization, are to mesh with and support their business as it actually is and for where it is actually, day-to-day going.
• And a more open awareness of the business that connecting into its in-house interactive online and web 2.0 intranet resources would offer, can more effectively show where new voices might need to be brought into the overall strategic process. I am thinking of HR in this regard as I write this, but many organizations in effect strangle their potential by excluding any of a wide range of sources of insight, that need voices too. So that is not the only functional area that might need to be brought into this too

Basically, I am writing here of bringing the potential value creation capabilities of open collaboration into the executive suite, and both for how members of that team work together and for how they reach out to and connect with and learn from the overall organization that they seek to lead.

I have written many times in this blog about the stultifying effect that thick, impenetrable silo walls can create, and how an organization partitioned off from itself in that way can expend more effort in effect fighting itself for resource shares than using them to gain and retain marketplace strength in facing its outside competition. A senior executive team that is not connected into an overall conversation and that does not see or hear of the experiences or insights of others, cannot see the barrier partitions that divide and limit their business from within – and that limit it from being able to see let alone reach its true potential.

And joining this larger conversation is where those executive officers would see where they have unnecessarily duplicated (and triplicated and more) resources in their business that simply create avoidable costs and reduced business efficiency. And this is where they would best see where there are gaps – and both in what is present at all in their business, and where resources are in place but not actually available where needed.

I have been writing about developing a business’ innovative potential in this series. None of what I have been writing of here can work if that is not actively supported by its senior leadership and by the processes and practices that they, through their actual actions form and perpetuate. When the senior leadership of an organization, from its CEO on down actively support and encourage active open collaboration and innovation, all that I write of here can become possible.

I am going to end this series here with this posting, though I am certain to continue writing about the basic topic areas that I have been addressing here in future postings and series too. Meanwhile, you can find this and related postings at HR and Personnel and also at Business Strategy and Operations and at its continuation pages: Business Strategy and Operations – 2 and Business Strategy and Operations – 3.

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