Innovation Ecosystems

CHALLENGER MINDSET
Enabling Innovation

Our innovation consulting services, focusing on building out innovation ecosystems,  work on articulating an innovation strategy based on our clients’ most critical issues, medium to long term objectives and opportunities. Across strategy, marketing, organization, operations, technology, transformation, digital, advanced analytics, corporate finance, mergers & acquisitions and sustainability, we consider the business innovation needs.

Leadership Counts

Leadership is crucial for innovation and forms a key cog in any innovation ecosystem but innovation leadership is often stymied right at the outset of their innovation endeavours in striving to build an innovation business. This is due to some fundamental considerations that should exist with regards to innovation consulting.
Firstly, innovation can come from anywhere in the organisation but needs to be fostered, nurtured, captured and extended. This means that innovation ecosystems need to exist in some form because innovation is unlikely to flourish without the requisite ecosystems.

Next, the language, not to say the terminology, surrounding innovation tends to be somewhat problematic because we find many expect that innovation will be necessarily technologically and widely disruptive. The first is off putting for some. The second is desirable but unlikely to be true and therefore sets up an unrealistic expectation which saps the will and stamina required to make an innovation culture stick. So this issue is about perceptions around what innovation actually is and does.

Innovation as Business Strategy

Let’s talk about how you can  create advantage using innovation

What is innovation?

There are several definitions of innovation but while innovation can be radical, breakthrough or incremental, innovation outcomes in established business models are likely to be incremental. Organisational attitudes to innovation and creation within the organisation also have a lot to do with the issues described above.

There are also several models of innovation including ‘shocks’ and directional proliferation of ideas but there is also a partial or limited understanding of the innovation process, per Joe Tidd, all of which contribute to challenges in incepting innovation frameworks.

We have been conditioned to expect that innovation will deliver wide ranging applications and benefits but while innovation is critical, because it helps us to find better ways of doing things or even better, different ways of solving problems in a way that creates value, then that objective needs to be sufficient. To innovate, essentially is to find new ways (and better) ways to do what we do.

Therefore, innovation is basically about determining where and how in the business value can be created, captured and even inculcated.
It may or may not be based on the facility of a particular technology, the power and channelling of application or it could be purely based in creativity or in changing the organisation and fundamental things like culture. In reality their benefits are likely to be constrained to your organisation, and be incremental to start with rather than immediately explosive and exponential.

However, if an innovation mindset exists or can be made to exist, and innovation is continuous, then exponential effects are possible. The takeaway is that innovation can and will be beneficial and the process has sustained value in its own right and is highly desirable. To do nothing o have no plan with regard to innovation is not an option at all. Innovation strategy must be long term, innovation management should be embedded structurally and functionally, innovation leadership should support the ability of people to engage in innovation creativity as part of the overall innovation culture.

 

Why Innovation Ecosystems?

The function of innovation ecosystems is to enable innovation and ensure there is leadership facilitating innovation and with oversight of the innovation process.
Changes and ideally innovations can be discovered or built in any number of areas across a business – ops, processes like sales, distribution or customer experience and communications, service model, collaboration and community, analytics, for example using data in the organisation to realise under-served needs and find ways to meet them.

People innovations are always an opportunity when revisiting operating models because building innovation capability in organisations is wholly dependent on people. People, of course will discover and apply these innovations and are most affected by it, especially if the innovations are founded in higher efficiency and increased productivity. Metrics based improvements to performance and quality also have impacts on people but are often the first areas that are looked to for innovation. Innovation capability models and frameworks that have people at their centre are much less likely to cannibalise their largest assets (people) and their most valuable customer experience and engagement model components.
With this in mind, effective innovation ecosystems for building and capturing this value will come from preparing and instituting certain enablers within your business to enable any kind of innovation to not to be stillborn. Iconify is the innovation consultancy to engage for innovation strategy. We take a wide lens to coming up with solutions that are business driven, people-centric and interested in the link between innovation and entrepreneurship and exactly how we could exploit those opportunities where they exist in your people.

People
People are the most valuable resource on which the success of everything else depends
Culture
Deep and central value created by culture which links people, strategy, leadership and a shared mindset and commitment.
Leadership
Managing change effectively is a source of competitive advantage, yet few organizations do it well.
Environments
Connections with Universities, to recruit talent, Government and Networks plus a firm understanding of trends, threats and growth factors in the competitive environment.
Technology and Digital
Technology is an integral and potential differentiator that embeds quality and efficacy but also influences your consumers through data and interfaces for interaction.
Change Management
Effective change management and delivery is fundamental for business but is also vital for fostering innovation, an increasingly crucial capability for competitive advantage.

Innovation Leadership

INNOVATION AND INSPIRATION
Leading Leaders

Iconify help leaders execute on their ambitions to innovate by helping them recognise that innovation must now be a mindset, an intrinsic part of their company’s business model. Leaders should see innovation as the way to accelerate the speed and capability to respond to change in the changing technological landscape, customer preferences and expectations in harsher market conditions.  Innovation leaders of digital era business winners will need to take these current truths and make them cohere. The ability of a business to thrive over the coming decade will depend heavily on innovation, ability to change agilely and prioritising customer experience in order to grow brand equity.

There’s has always been an opportunity to explore and exploit the great ideas of talented and committed people. Nowadays, it’s imperative that the latent talent and ideas in suppliers and partners and employees are not left dormant or die fallow. Business processes must allow capture and harvesting of these idea. First, to attract the right talent and then give them the tools to excel and harvest their ideas must be the first and fundamental purposes of leaders.

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Strategic Objectives

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Developing Authentic Leadership

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Entrepreneurial Leadership

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Innovation Frameworks

Leading talented people is not just about strategic management. Years of validated research has shown that culture in a team is dependent to a large extent to leaders. For teams to become high performing, leadership is critical and so it makes sense that we see Leadership as the base  and first component of ecosystems that foster innovation. We would contend that it’s about Leadership first, of the right People, given and receptive to the right motivations that help to formulate Culture, in that order. People are wildly different, complex and engender great ideas but also great tension. Building trust and synergies inspite of this and building the motivation required to reach  the desirable state known as ‘Innovation Premium’,  is a primary function of leadership.

Strategically speaking, recruiting and involving leaders that understand and pursue this scenario is paramount. Similarly, leaders that seek to create high performing teams as a strategic imperative are indispensable to the process of creating the right culture, the right teams and innovation.

This is a complex but highly interesting and essential area of building innovation ecosystems for businesses who understand that the only way to true and lasting transformation is sustainability, and that this requires innovation. Contact us to discuss next steps.

Leading talented people is about more than strategic management. Talented and smart people can often sense insincerity in leaders , and can grow to resent inconsistency, lack of clear directives in parallel with scope to make decisions within set and agreed parameters. The importance of trust in high performing teams and innovative cultures cannot be overstated. It is hard to trust what appears inauthentic and or sets up a cognitive dissonance in your teams.

This is why, Iconify Innovation Consulting sets a lot of store by authentic leadership. It cannot be faked but it can be learned with the right commitments and long term brand strategy in mind.

The fundamental goal of Entrepreneurial Leaders…. is to create an atmosphere of innovation while helping constituents or followers
become more entrepreneurial.

Entrepreneurial leadership has to do with trying to solve problems using creativity, effecting change and progress through beginning new or as we like to call them ‘challenger or insurgent’ teams.If these people were out in the world they would start new business in response to perceived gaps and undeserved needs. In an organisational context, they can deploy these same skills passion and restlessness for solving problems, and in doing so give rise to innovation. To do so requires an environment that accepts, rewards, enables, empowers, rewards and mobilises initiative and innovation mindset.
The desire and willingness to go to great lengths at great personal cost and risk to solve this, reveals a service and helping mindset. Service Leadership is with an entrepreneurial bent is an extraordinary mix of personality attributes that can help to build extraordinary and high performing teams in an organisational context, and this latter attribute is one of the most important in appointing a leader that can help find the right people and build the appropriate culture to rally people to the entrepreneurial and innovation cause.

Unlike change initiatives, putting together frameworks is not so much about implementing correctives, as it is about engineering capability into the organisation. We consult to businesses on how to create innovative capability and advantage by developing innovation ecosystems but also can provide guidance to leaders on frameworks to adopt for implementing the right leadership across the estate. Leaders need ideas, but they also need tools and process for executing the leadership strategy to enable innovation gain true traction.

We build a full view across the people, infrastructure, procedural and cultural factors amongst other factors and identify required capabilities and capabilities required to create opportunities for innovation. The only requirements are a long term view and commitment to building the capacity for innovation.

Leadership for Innovation Ecosystems

Several reports, studies and papers over the last few years have highlighted the importance of leadership in cultivating innovation ecosystems. Recently, Hubbard and Rogers 2018 consolidated the factors for which leadership is a precursor and indispensable enabler for innovation.

The effectiveness  of  a leader has significant impacts on all other ecosystem components culturally and structurally as well as economically. It naturally falls to leaders to incept change across the organisation and establish systems and mindsets to nurture innovation.We hope you are as convinced are that innovation leadership deserves focus. Contact us to move the conversation forward.

Innovation Environments

Intelligent Environments
Establishing Excellence

Contributing to, and crucially interlinked to culture, environments that foster innovation are worthy of evaluation for lessons that can be learned and applied as part of putting together an overall ecosystem within which your people can thrive , ideas can be explored and your internal brand engagement  and commitment are high. This aspect of the ecosystem has a lot of potential for conferring additional branding advantages, not least the amplification of your brand’s values from your key stakeholders, your staff who become the first and most defensive line of customer experience and perception feedback.

It is worth noting that there appears to be a consensus that a key part of making innovation work, revolves around People and the environments created by how they are treated and managed.

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Infrastructure

Systems and tools for increased capabilities for sharing and collaborating.
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Policy & Reward Systems

Explore, choose and tailor Motivational Models and Incentives
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Learning and Incubation Labs

Structures that nurture, innovation, growth and creativity
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Multiple Helix

Systems for Support, Partnerships and Cross Germination to advance innovation.
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Networks and Clustering

Expose your employees to similar companies and people to enhance their capabilities.

Innovation Technology

Pivotal Tech
Leverage Innovation

No innovation is complete without technology and the focus on finding, and utilising technology transformatively.

Iconify Tech consultants work with you to understand your business’s specific tech requirement profile, ideally on a holistic mission to create an innovation mindset, infrastructure and ecosystem to make your business responsive and more effective for the digital age.

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Trends

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Insights

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Tools

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Access

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Innovation Culture

Spirit, Wings and Roots
Culture to Contend

Culture. It makes and breaks and innovation culture is no different, enabling as it does, changes that leverage the linkages in your business value creation process.

Our innovation Consulting focuses on the key and enabling aspects of ecosystems that ground and empower innovation, through valuing creativity, visionary leadership and inculcating challenger mindsets in people with great and creative minds. We apply a philosophy and framework that apply discipline and reward discipleship.

The right innovation culture can be purely transformational with the freedom and trust between leaders and teams to create high performing teams that can innovate free of worry and in a way that makes innovation sustainable long term within the organisation. Motivational models that feed and enable innovation at different levels of the business.

Innovation Culture and your Business

The attitudes of leaders directly impacts on the courage and willingness of teams to try new things and break the mould but the people, frameworks and environments must also be right. There’s no ‘righting’ or building new structures without all those elements, because these are all factors of an ecosystem that absorbs change to adapt and grow and innovate. Leaders give the permission and gift the wings but the people must be capable of and willing to take flight. We have found is that where creativity abounds, innovation thrives. Where people are encouraged and enabled to have a challenger mindset, great things happen, and do with innovation culture..

A tightly correlated theme is risk appetite because investment in people, their space and the tools they need to collaborate and create limits the scope available to a business’ s teams. Teams need exposure to what is available and possible and to imagine how these can transform their processes and outputs, rather than just having it thrust upon them.

Encourage your teams to think like the competition and come up with the innovations and insurgent ideas that your competitors might use to get ahead. Install these ‘rival’ teams in your business, even on a tiny scale and see how this changes the outlook and horizons of your employees and leads the thinking on what to focus on.

The role and power of diversity in highly effective teams has been much vaunted, very well researched and publicised but it is also a fact that diversity is not as highly valued in many companies as the research would mandate. We embrace and advocate diversity through as mant channels as possible – functional, backgrounds, ability and skillsbase to name but a few.

While leaders must have accountability and endeavour to inject some low level discipline so what can otherwise be an unruly way of being, people must feel empowered to try and fail. To try, they must have all the need to know how to plan, how to manage and mitigate risk and not be carried away be Lean precepts. Working and planning smart should be rewarded; whilst Fail Fast definitely has value, failing for lack of planning, knowledge and understanding is not the purpose. This is precisely the reason for discipline. Within these basic strictures, people should have a healthy perception of failing with a focus on cross germinating ideas and porting lessons.

Preparing People for Innovation

FULCRUM FOR INNOVATION
Precious People

With the right leadership, engendering a culture that facilitates and rewards entrepreneurial mindsets in place, leaders should set about preparing people for innovation. They should focus on the qualities their people should embody and the adoption of the types of skills they want their teams to possess. Innovation cannot happen without people and culture cannot exist or be inculcated without people, so it is self-evident that people are the central point for innovation. Nonetheless, it bears stating that investment in people to help create innovation mindsets and capabilities is critical, as is enabling collaboration. Collaboration underpins the harnessing of innovation and the sharing and exploiting of employee ideas, and is central to preparing people for innovation.

Engaging your employees is also one of the most important drivers of customer experience. Your employees are frontline customers and they will  do much better for your brand and business, stay around longer, contribute more and be advocates for you if you invest in getting the most out of them, for your business and for them. If you believe your people are precious, call us now on 0208 191 9008 to discuss how you can get the best from them.

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High Impact People

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Entrepreneurial People

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Cross Functional Teams

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High Velocity Learning

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Ownership Motivation Models

Innovate

create and elevate your brand with confidence

Innovate

Silicon Valley, New York, Rio de Janeiro – places that are renowned in the world as meccas to innovate, disrupt and grow. But is it just the preserve of these places and if it is why? This question led our director to research into what it is that creates the ability or drive to innovate and also what blocks it or serves to limit it, ‘innovation antibodies‘ you could say.

I found that above all things enablement, expectation and empowerment to innovate were all time facilitators and strong drivers of innovation. The expectation that innovation should be ubiquitous and encouraged and that one is inherent capable of doing it charged places of innovation. The empowerment came from the environments and the people. The enablement came from the triple helix structures of governments, universities and employment that provided capital, facilities, technology and networks to make innovation and entrepreneurship happen. Capital and culture, also fundamental were part of the enablement structures which unsurprisingly could also be derived from the triple helix and and empowerment structures. There are certainly overlaps between these all of which serve to make the effects of things like networks which could arise across enablement, expectation and empowerment, exponential and of untold power.

In terms of application, we have found that many of the businesses which want to learn how to innovate and are not limited as much by capital, which many innovators and entrepreneurs struggle with the most, but are limited to a similar degree by the lack primary of other primary drivers like culture and leadership.

We want to help businesses know how to innovate and how to build the necessary ecosystems to make this happen.

Innovation Consulting

Our approach to business solution includes a matter of course, seeking opportunities to innovate in any transformation exercise. We work with leaders to isolate what’s adding value and what is not,which initiatives are expended and what’s not yet been fully plumbed and explored. Which customer needs are underserved that could be met with a marginal extension?  We always want to know the client’s innovation appetite and we help you review and grow your innovation capability.

Iconify Innovation Advisory is delivered as part of  our Transformation and Technology practices and we help businesses evaluate aspects like, what value can be captured within your agreed strategy and what’s the smartest, fastest, most effective and in short, innovative way to can do it. We help leaders determine risk appetite and understand your innovation profile and consider which new ideas when implemented will deliver the highest impact.

Use the quick links below to learn more or contact us now.

How innovation happens
Innovation Ecosystems

Our innovation consulting services focus on articulating an innovation strategy based on our clients’ most critical issues, medium to long term objectives and opportunities across: strategy, marketing, organization, operations, technology, transformation, digital, advanced analytics, corporate finance, mergers & acquisitions and sustainability.

Leadership is crucial for innovation and forms a key cog in any innovation ecosystem but innovation leadership is often stymied right at the outset of their innovation endeavours in striving to build an innovation business. This is due to some fundamental considerations that should exist with regards to innovation consulting.
Firstly, innovation can come from anywhere in the organisation but needs to be fostered, nurtured, captured and extended. This means that innovation ecosystems need to exist in some form because innovation is unlikely to flourish without the requisite ecosystems.

Next, the language, not to say the terminology surrounding innovation tends to be somewhat problematic because we find many expect that innovation will be necessarily technologically and widely disruptive. The first is off putting for some. The second is desirable but unlikely to be true and therefore sets up an unrealistic expectations which saps the will and stamina required to make an innovation culture stick. So this issue is about perceptions around what innovation actually is and does.

There are several definitions of innovation but while innovation can be radical, breakthrough or incremental, innovation in established business models is likely to be incremental. Organisational attitudes to innovation and creation within the organisation also have a lot to do with the issues describe above.
We have been conditioned to expect that innovation will deliver wide ranging applications and benefits but while innovation is critical, because it helps us to find better ways of doing things or even better, different ways of solving problems in a way that creates value, then that objective needs to be sufficient. To innovate, essentially is to find new ways (and better) ways to do what we do.

Therefore, innovation is basically about determining where and how in the business value can be created, captured and even inculcated.
It may or may not be based on the facility of a particular technology, the power and channelling of application or it could be purely based in creativity or in changing the organisation and fundamental things like culture. In reality their benefits are likely to be constrained to your organisation, and be incremental to start with rather than immediately explosively exponential. However, if an innovation mindset exists and it is continuous, then exponential effects are possible.

The takeaway is that innovation can and will be beneficial and the process has sustained value in its own right and is highly desirable. To do nothing o have no plan with regard to innovation is not an option at all. Innovation strategy must be long term, innovation management should be embedded structurally and functionally, innovation leadership should support the ability of people to engage in innovation creativity as part of the overall innovation culture.

The function of innovation ecosystems is to enable innovation and ensure there is leadership facilitating innovation and with oversight of the innovation process.
Changes and ideally innovations can be discovered or built in any number of areas across a business – ops, processes like sales, distribution or customer experience and communications, service model, collaboration and community, analytics, for example using data in the organisation to realise underserved needs and find ways to meet them.
People innovations are always an opportunity when revisiting operating models because building innovation capability in organisations is wholly dependent on people. People, of course will discover and apply these innovations and are most affected by it, especially if the innovations are founded in higher efficiency and increased productivity. Metrics based improvements to performance and quality also have impacts on people but are often the first areas that are looked to for innovation. Innovation capability models and frameworks that have people at their centre are much less likely to cannibalise their largest assets (people) and their most valuable customer experience and engagement model components.
With this in mind, effective ecosystems for building and capturing this value will come from preparing and instituting certain enablers within your business to enable any kind of innovation to not to be stillborn. Iconify is the innovation consultancy to engage for innovation strategy. We take a wide lens to coming up with solutions that are business driven, people centric and interested in the link between innovation and entrepreneurship and exactly how we could exploit those opportunities where they exist in your people.

We help businesses build innovation ecosystems to enable and facilitate their adoption, use and inception of innovation across People, Technology, Culture, Leadership and Environments.

Leadership

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People

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Culture

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Technology

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Environments

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Challenger Mindset
Tap into Innovation

Passionate about innovating, finding new solutions for old problems, new markets and methods, we will help your organisation explore innovation potential and build an innovation capability to exploit upcoming trends with ease and confidence.

Innovation Strategy

Anticipatory thinking meets strategic outlook to create a challenger mindset

Insights

Multiple lenses to find solutions to ops and strategic issues

Design

Innovation Process Design

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