Monday, April 25, 2011

Creating a collaborative innovation framework

I'm back after some time out of the office, leading the PDMA Carolina Open Innovation conference and after a week of well-deserved vacation.

This week, Paul Hobcraft of Agility Innovation in Europe and I initiate what we hope is the start of an online discussion on innovation models.  Our ultimate goal is to remove some of the "mystery" that surrounds innovation and develop, or at least present, what we believe is an innovation model that others can adopt or adapt.

We believe that many firms are confused by conflicting claims and don't have an adequate understanding of what innovation entails.  To a great extent that's because there are no common standards where innovation is concerned.  There are many different approaches, strategies and methods.  This causes uncertainty and confusion when firms attempt to innovate.  Which is the "right" approach?  Open innovation?  Disruptive innovation?  Who or what should be involved?  A small team?  Everyone?  Clearly, every situation is different and each firm has unique needs, but a common starting point is required.

No industry can scale when there are too many competing "standards", and currently innovation is very much a cottage industry, with a number of competing methods and models.  We'd like to begin the dialog that will lead us - innovation consultants, practitioners, academics and clients - to a more transparent, common innovation reference framework.  Doing so will remove much of the uncertainty about innovation, and accelerate the adoption of innovation as a business capability or discipline.  Over the next few days we'll unveil the approach at InnovationManagement.se and at InnovationTools.com.  Our goal is to encourage everyone to comment on the model we've developed, and add to it.  We encourage you to join with us to develop a common reference framework that everyone can use or adapt to their needs when they start innovating.

To that end we've developed a wiki, entitled the Collaborative Innovation Reference Framework, which will allow anyone who is interested to participate in the development and extension of the innovation model we are proposing.  Please visit the site and let us know if you'd like to join us in developing or extending the model, or would simply like to be part of the community.

Ultimately our goal is to republish the model on a regular basis as we receive feedback, edits and comments, so there is a common, collaborative innovation reference framework available and reasonably accepted by a number of innovation practitioners.  We believe that framework can help reduce the mystery and develop a "standard" for innovation which enables more firms to innovate and accelerates adoption of innovation.  This is not to say that the model we are developing will be a "cure all" for every situation.  Any firm starting an innovation effort will need to adopt the model, then adapt it to its needs.  But by exposing the model and examining the different innovation "types" (business model innovation, open innovation, design-led innovation, service/experience innovation, etc) we can establish the validity of the approach and demonstrate that the model is a starting point for any kind of innovation effort.

Feel free to contact me if you have questions or would like to get involved.  Join us on the wiki site to comment, add to or extend the innovation model we've proposed.  Most importantly, help us create a transparent, collaborative reference framework that removes some of the mystique from innovation, so more firms can innovate more quickly and with greater confidence.
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posted by Jeffrey Phillips at 8:50 AM

5 Comments:

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