1.Innovation is going to be the next business function – with its own leadership, mandate, roles and metrics – just like 40 years ago when marketing was not a sophisticated management function in organizations.
2.Organizations are under-utilizing their people by scripting new product development so carefully. There are people in organizations who are bored with their jobs, but who, in an innovation role, can be extremely energized and contribute to the organization’s value.
3.Three competencies have been identified as key to an innovation system:
Discovery: R&D, clarification of opportunities, collaboration and alignment
Incubation:Experimentation fraught with uncertainty (product/service, market, organizational, resource and competency) – the most undeveloped
Acceleration: Growing and scaling to predictability
4.The role of the orchestrator, a Chief Innovation Officer is to connect the innovation and mainstream management systems, paying attention to an incubation portfolio and work in partnership with the Chief Technology Officer to engineer a discovery portfolio that drives the strategic intent of the company. It is a mistake to just re-label the Chief Technology Officer.
5.Companies have experimented with many approaches to building an innovation capability (intrapreneurs or mavericks, external incubators like Xerox PARC, new ventures divisions) but staying power calls for a different system of support and unique business metrics to manage expectations.
6.A company must not let the innovation mandate get overshadowed, but deal with constraints of an awful economy or other limits to its capacity – in fact give more rein during times of chaos to capture opportunities.
7.Business schools do not do a good job of educating students about innovation, treating it as a cross-functional topic.Change is required to address learning around incubation and competencies of experimentation.
8.While some firms are naming cool innovation roles and jobs, there is no well developed promotion path.There are intrapreneurs who take the risk to rotate from/back to the mainstream operations, but we see a prime need to create incentivized innovation career paths to build talent with substantial experience of the full cycle – discovery, incubation, acceleration.
Copyright The Larsen Group: Architects of Change 2008