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Intervention by Denise Caruso Read Intervention by Denise Caruso, Executive Director of the Hybrid Vigor Silver Award Winner, 2007 Independent Publisher Book Awards; Best Business Books 2007, Strategy+Business Magazine

THE INTANGIBLE INNOVATION PROCESS

by Mary Adams ~ April 4, 2008.
Permalink | Filed under: Collaboration and Sensemaking, Hybrid Vigor, Valuing Intangibles.

Innovation is the major strategic challenge for just about every organization today. But it is an elusive goal. This great post by Brad Kolar on his The Question of Leadership blog advises, “Want to innovate? Stop trying to be innovative and start solving problems.” He talks about the fact that successful innovation does not start intentionally. It starts by identifying hard problems and getting to work on them. Solving problems creates value.

This is a hard thing for organizations to swallow. They are accustomed to the command-and-control approach where making something a goal is the first step to getting it done. I’ve seen companies that have as a shared goal “to become more innovative.” This means that the personal goals of everyone in the organization include something about “being more innovative.”

But a manager cannot order someone to innovate! He or she has to create the environment where there is enough freedom and the right resources so that their employees can and will innovate. In this view, the manager’s role is to help frame the problem, convene the conversation and get the right people to the table.That’s why I think of innovation as the “new” strategy. It requires a completely different view of how to plan for the future of your company. It is not about identifying the right course and executing it flawlessly. It is about first deciding what problems need to be solved, then attracting the right resources, creating the right ecosystem and supporting a process of continuous learning. It is about leveraging the collective expertise of your employees, your customers and your partners to collectively solve the tough problems.

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