Skip to content

Assessing Executive Innovation / Transformation Capabilities

Central to an organization innovating for impact to meaningfully improve outcomes is the ability of Executives to –

  1. Engage and have thoughtful discussions with those in the Innovation / Transformation ecosystem – internally and externally
  2. Ask good questions about Innovation / Transformation
  3. Be able to exchange personal experiences of significant change / innovation / transformation
  4. Show proof of disruptive innovation success in the organization and personally
  5. Advise of their source of Innovation / Transformation knowledge and insights
    ie : info from those in the innovation ecosystem, within the enterprise, consulting companies, start-ups, conferences, webinars, magazines, alerts, peers, a network, etc.
  6. Share insights on opportunities, company strategic objectives, challenges / issues, vision / look ahead, etc.
    + indicate why they are important in their organization, the industry, changes in other industries, etc.
  7. Make suggestions to drive meaningful change …. and avoid being disrupted
  8. Demonstrate openness to new – ideas, products, markets, services, monetizing value creation, business models, growth strategies, creating synergies with external organizations / partners, etc.
  9. Be humble, collaborative, engaging, User centric, entrepreneurial, etc.
  10. Exhibit an explorative style about the future of the organization and the industry – from a ‘people and business’ perspective
  11. Want to learn fast to improve and view agility as advantage
    …. and get past the “not knowing what they don’t know and not really wanting to know” syndrome
  12. Recognize the need to change the mindset and modus operandi to make innovation more rewarding
    …. to better see the dots and be more innovative in connecting the dots, seeing synergies, recognizing new value, assessing opportunities, etc.
  13. Are determined to meaningfully improve outcomes – and do what it takes (regardless of source, etc.) to make it happen
  14. Leverage external and internal competencies, experiences, skills, networks, etc.
  15. Value agility and responsiveness
  16. Appreciate how to deliver a great User Experience
  17. Fast track decision making, getting results, and prudently managing risk
  18. Recognize Innovation / Transformations is a journey that produces tangible and intangible benefits – with short term and long term considerations
  19. Effectively articulate corporate vision / goals / guidelines, performance metrics, compensation, etc
    – and link these elements with rewards to drive behavior, culture change, accountability, etc.
    – to improve the probability of success – on a sustainable basis

While many Executives believe they are doing the above, based on the high mortality rate of innovation (like with venture investing), it’s clear there is a gap between reality and perception !

To close the “ Understanding Gap “ it’s important to recognize the skills and mindset to be good at innovation are different than those needed to be good at running business operations or adhering to established processes.

Because of this, closing the “ Understanding Gap “ recognizes the need for different and complimenting skills to successfully run the business with operational “ Processes and Predictability “ + being good at business innovation to extend capabilities with “ Insight and Inspiration “.

This is analogous to being able to walk and talk at the same time !

In the end, for an organization to increase relevance and revenue as well as attract top talent on a sustainable basis, being very competent in both areas is essential.

To appreciate what this means, computers appeared on the scene over 50 years ago to do various mundane repetitive tasks by mainframes in a data center. Now they’re everywhere and evolved into information services. Similarly, while business innovation is typically done by a few people in the organization today, success in the future will be achieved by those where innovation is pervasive and part of the corporate DNA. Why? Because you’re only as good as you can answer the question “What have you done for me lately?

From this, if you’re an Executive and have a good answer to the question and the above criteria, then great. However, since “Good“ is in the eye of the Customer, maybe it’s time to collaborate with those in the Innovation ecosystem to review your assessment!

Feb 19, 2020                             CAIL Innovation commentary