Wednesday, March 21, 2012

CIL2012: Innovation Success Framework (Keynote with Jeffrey Phillips)

Attendees statistics from Tom Hogan Sr.

1697 attendees (240 speakers and moderators)
300+ to visit the exhibits only
100+ exhibitors (54 organizations)

2214 people total

46 states + DC represented
22 countries represented (Australia to Zambia)

Relevant Hogan quote: Don't humanize computers-they hate that.

Jeffrey Phillips is the author of Relentless Innovation: What Works, What Doesn't - and What That Means for Your Business and VP of OVO@ovoinnovation

Libraries have a lot to do with innovation.  The keepers of the flame of innovation.

The Answer: The concept of relentless innovation.  Innovation as a way of life or a discipline.  If that is the answer, then what is the question?

How do we get more information if there is so little clarity about what we do?

(BTW Phillips says that he is a horrible public speaker and that he does everything wrong!)

OVO helps organizations change their corporate culture.  Their web site has a number of white papers that can be downloaded. Phillips writes a blog named Innovate on Purpose.

How do firms that seem to innovate all of the time do that?  What sustains their innovation?

B.A.U. = Business As Usual.  BAU can kill innovation.

OVO advocates that innovation is based on a series of methodologies.

Need to ask "What's going" In our organizations, communities, government, etc.

Five important things from an innovation perspective.

1. Disappearing trade barriers - Free trade provides access to markets for far more competitors, increasing offerings and heightening competition.  His examples are about Mexico and China and its impact on the U.S.

2.  Increasing rate of change - Accelerating.  Shorter life cycles.  Attention span is decreasing. Today we're less than 50 years after the photocopier became a widespread technology!  Every one of us can be an author.

3.  Increasing customer expectations - We want more, expect more and demand more from our products and services and the firms we buy from.  As technologies improve, we expect more from our products and services.  We always want better products, not worse products.

4.  Increasing access to information - The cost of computing power is dropping, ans access to the Internet in increasing.  Better information access means more people have more opportunities.  Even people who do not have access at home to the Internet can find ways of tapping into it.  Also mentioned Open Courseware.

5.  Decreasing cost of entry - The internet reduces cost of entry, reduces marketing costs and increasing awareness.  Anyone can sell anything to anyone else.  Costs and barriers decrease or disappear.

Change is inevitable.  "Status quo" is untenable.

Most organizations are stuck in the mud, on the wrong track & using out-dated technology.

We are comfortably stuck in the mud.  How did we get to this point?

In the 1970s, there was a balance between innovation and efficiency.  Over time we've lost that balance.  What caused us to lose that balance?

In the 1980s, there was the quality movement.  W. Edwards Deming, the father of the quality movement, was from the U.S., but it was Japan that grab a hold of the quality movement.

Six Sigma and Lean - Creating products that with no deviations.  Lean has to do with driving out costs.

Foreign Competition & Outsourcing - Need to focus on our core competencies and outsource the rest.

Where has this left us?  We value efficiency over innovation.  Everything we've done for the last 30 years has created organizations that are very efficient, but are unable to innovate.

Our organizations have become Fiddler Crabs.

What do we need to be doing today to be more in balance?  What is blocking innovation?  Business as usual.  Our organizational flow charts (formal and informal) show that we've become efficient.  "Well oiled machines."  We operate our organizations on auto-pilot.  Second nature.  Efficient and with little input.

When we're handed a new idea that doesn't fit into our operating model, we either change our BAU process or we change the idea to fit our BAU.

Innovation flies against everything that our organizations try to do.  It is messy. Uncertain.  Risky.  A lot of variance.

Organizations do everything to maintain business as usual.

Most organizations are insane.  They do the same things over and over again, but expect different results!

Use skunk-works or a hothouse to innovate, so that they are developed outside of the normal corporate culture.  However, it is rarely effective long term.  Doesn't change the corporate culture.

The third way - Creating an innovation business as usual. Three factors:
  • Communication - Commitment is demonstrated through the things we do and the things we say.
  • Compensation - Insanity - asking people to spend time innovating, but evaluating them on their "day job."  So where do their priorities lie?
  • Culture - Culture eats strategy for breakfast!  Our organizational culture is the most powerful thing that we have.  Culture needs to get on-board with innovation.
Who sustains business as usual?  Middle managers.  Why?  Middle managers - in order to stay in place - need to get things done.  They are efficiency experts.  Staff have the culture imposed on them.  Staff and executives may want to change things, but middle managers are about efficiency.

When we ask middle managers to innovate, they say: I have no time, resources, or skills to innovate.

The key factors from the middle manager point of view:
  • Annual planning process - Wmbed innovation specific activities, goals and outcomes.
  • Give them new skills - Rebalance their skills.  Trend spotting.  Understanding customer needs.  Managing people.
  • Change compensation, recognition and rewards - Note that rewards aren't always financial. Same for compensation.
If it is important, you'll find a way to do it.  If not, you'll find an excuse.

Four things to take away from this:
  • Create clear innovation goals - set clear goals and strategies. 
  • Rebalance tools and skills - given them the new skills that they need in order to innovate.  
  • Beginning to define process - Often innovation is a completely ad hoc process.  Why not create a process and methodology for innovation?
  • Rework culture, incentives and rewards  - Pavlov told us that people will do what they expected they'll be rewarded to do.
Moving from an organization that struggles with innovation to one that embraces innovation will not happen overnight.  It can take 2-3 years. Do things in parallel.

We fight innovation because it is different.  We need to stop doing that.  (Hear that, libraries?!)

No comments: