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CAIL Innovation Blog

Connecting the Dots to Innovate for Impact

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In this article, the innovation elements (the Dots) and the associated thinking (the Connections) are highlighted to provide insight on why some people and organizations are better than others at innovation – to meaningfully improve outcomes.

Innovation is to “Make Things Better” (MTB). And the more you want to MTB, the more important the “Relevance of the Future in the Present” (RFP) is.

With this, to assess how well your organization is “Innovating for Impact” (IFI), it’s about “Creating the Future, Opportunity and Wealth” (CFOW).

Examples where RFP is high is in – Entrepreneurs, Disruptive / H3 Innovation, Inventors, Silicon Valley, Research groups / communities, Future oriented people / organizations, etc.

From this, the more you want to meaningfully MTB, the higher the RFP is in your thinking / being / orientation. Because of this there is a greater ability to IFI and CFOW.

If to meaningfully MTB is not the agenda to – maintain the status quo, continue with established processes / thinking / business model, familiarity with the environment, etc. – then RFP is low. While there is no law against this type of thinking, over time “ Things Become More Problematic “ (TBMP) due to decreasing organization / product opportunities, relevance, and revenue.

Examples of TBMP are:

A.  Enterprises  – going extinct as evidenced by :

  •  88 % of Fortune 500 companies in 1970 are gone
  •  52 % of Fortune 500 companies in 2000 are gone
  •  40 % of current Fortune 500 companies are expected to be gone by 2030

B.  Professions  – that struggle with change, have long learning curves, heavy memorization, lots of rules, are process driven, have a low risk tolerance, etc.

For example, while there has been progress in medicine, it is not where it needs to be when the two main ways of dealing with COVID-19 in 2020 / 2021 is with masks and social distancing – the same as was done with the Spanish Flu in 1919 / 1920 !

C.  People  – oriented to the here and now, not really interested in the future or to meaningfully MTB, have a limited understanding of things, who struggle with learning or doing new things, are not inclined or motivated to explore, etc.

Not surprisingly, the longer the thinking is not concerned with meaningfully MTB, RFP, CFOW, IFI – the greater the risk of being irrelevant or going extinct !

If the objective is to Innovate for Impact to meaningfully improve business outcomes, it’s important to have goal-oriented thinking (including setting and achieving stretch objectives) with high MTB, RFP, CFOW –- or in simple terms, the Mouse in the Maze approach.

To assess you and your organization’s future – Which camp are you in ?  Which camp is your organization in ?  If interested in learning how to better see and connect the dots, or to share insights in developing the “ Innovation Mindset “, please contact CAIL.

Feb 19, 2021              CAIL Innovation commentary          

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