Monday, April 23, 2012

Now is the time for all Innovators to come to the aid of their company!

I might subtitle this:  Doing something about Innovation is in the news.

If you’ll pardon the co-opting of the title to suit my purposes, let me just simply say there has been a flurry of surveys and thinkers getting on board a message I’ve been pushing for quite a while.  It has three parts:

1.      Companies must embrace Innovation
2.      Organizations need to pay it more than just lip service, they have to take action.
3.      There are two parts to the action:  Provide a framework for collaboration and encourage everyone to use it.

OK, point One:  Of course, easier said than done.  Recently at Fastcompany Aaron Shapiro noted in this blog entry: “But here’s the truth: most companies can’t innovate because everyone is paid to maintain the status quo.”  Companies are so caught up in their “day jobs” they fail to dedicate any time to innovation.  The author’s point, which I echo, is:
Companies must embrace Innovation if they have any chance to succeed.

Point Two:   At Forbes, staff writer Frederick E. Allen, wrote this week Most Chief Innovation Officers Are Just Window Dressing.    He points out that although an ever larger number of companies have executives in charge of innovation, Chief Innovation Officers, a much smaller percentage have clear Innovation Strategies.  Executives at any given company may have accountability for growth, but unless they can gather support from the entire organization, they’re bound to fail.   The author’s point, if I may paraphrase: 
Companies must encourage a bottom up approach to sustainable innovation.  Get everyone empowered.

The third point:  Perhaps the most significant perspective this past week is the survey report released from Cap Gemini.  Even when a company makes the decision to embrace innovation, they still must take the next step of doing something about it.  Employees need to be encouraged to easily make contributions toward the innovation strategy.  A framework must exist, one that’s easily accessible.

To take action companies must indicate openness to others’ ideas; they must make it clear innovation is a core value of the company.  To be successful companies must do more than say they embrace innovation; they need to provide a knowledge management system, an idea management system, in fact a social network to support innovation.  A place for all their smart people to assemble and share information.
Companies must architect a framework for innovation; a place where sharing information, ideas and results take place.

As I said earlier, it is apparent that now is the time for your organization to take very pragmatic steps toward embracing innovation.  If you’d like to see best of breed innovation system leaders in the innovation space, consider attending the FEI Conference on May 15 &16 in Orlando.  Come see CogniStreamer in booth 17.

Ron Shulkin is Vice President of the Americas for CogniStreamer®, an innovation ecosystem.  CogniStreamer serves as a Knowledge Management System, Idea Management System and Social Network for Innovation.  You can learn more about CogniStreamer here

Ron manages The Idea Management Group on LinkedIn (Join Here)

CogniStreamer® is a Knowledge Management system, an idea management software tool…in fact a social network dedicated to innovation.  It is an open innovation and collaboration platform where internal colleagues and external partner companies or knowledge centers join forces to create, develop and assess innovative ideas within strategically selected areas. The CogniStreamer® portal is an ideal collaborative platform that invites users to actively build a strong innovation portfolio. In addition it provides a powerful resource for internal and external knowledge sharing.  The CogniStreamer® framework is used by industry leaders such as Atlas Copco, Bekaert, Case New Holland, Cytec, Imec, Phillip Morris, Picanol and ThyssenKrupp. CogniStreamer® represents the best use of adaptive collaborative technology to harness human skill, ingenuity and intelligence.

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