Triggers of innovation
Innovation can be triggered from various internal and external sources. In the business modeling book, Business Model Generation (Osterwalder & Pigneur, Wiley, 2010, 138-139) these triggers are described as “Resource-Driven”, “Offer-Driven”, “Customer-Driven”, “Finance-Driven”, and “Multiple-Epicenter Driven”. Since innovation is one key driver of a successful business and a key to the strategic model, it behooves leadership to have strong and clear lines of communication built to obtain, record, distribute and analyze data from the sources indicated by these drivers of innovation.
Building strong, clear communication links
Internally, leaders must create opportunities to hear the diverse voices of their organizational resources. Whether it is through feedback that is relayed from the “front lines’ to the “ivory tower” or it is within group sessions attended face-to-face by leadership and the resource team it must be complete, open, non-judgmental, and respectful so that clarity and integrity are not broken. Data solicited from outside sources must be collected in a manner that allows for a candid, focused, responsive communication to take place. Third-party collection with privacy for the source are best but cannot always be obtained requiring some judgment when direct communications are being analyzed for their value.
Financial Trump Card
It should be noted that there is a tendency for financial drivers of innovation to be considered more valid or valuable because of the source and the quantifiable outcomes (intrinsic) involved. But, leaders would best remember that all data used for decision-making and/or innovative initiatives should be quantified and linked or aligned to financial outcomes as part of the decision-making process. The source should not be confused with the decision and its strategically necessary elements.
Communication is key
It is absolutely key to the innovative process that communication is made available from internal and external sources that provide diverse, objective, organizationally valuable, trustworthy data and that the receivers of this data accept its intrinsic value without filtering, bias, or editing to align it with historical, popular, or individual models.
by M. Anthony Sacco
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