1. What are the origins of the survey?
Based on our work with pioneering enterprises around the world (e.g., BBC, Panera Bread, IBM, Toyota, Swisscom, Phillips, Stanford University, Kaiser Permanente), we have learned a great deal about what makes innovation successful. The survey focuses on 10 innovation success factors (metrics, mindset, tools, etc.) that separate the peak performers from poorly conditioned organizations who find themselves unfit to deliver innovative solutions to the market on a consistent basis. 2. What is "innovation fitness?"
The human body serves as the perfect metaphor for understanding the innovation challenge facing today's organizations. The body is built to adapt and respond to demands that are placed upon it. The greater the demand, the stronger the response. If you and your organization are going to compete in this world you must build and keep your innovation muscles strong. We know that only the fittest survive. Your organization's fitness level is determined by the ability of your people to effectively create value through the implementation of new ideas. 3. Who should be part your innovation fitness efforts?
Brilliance is available in every enterprise. Rather than taking a lone genius approach, we believe it is everyone’s job to think about how to create a better future. In fact, Innovation needs to flow top down, bottom up, outside in and inside out. A culture of innovation recognizes that good ideas can and do come from anywhere. These inclusive and collaborative cultures view innovation as a team sport and understand that from diverse perspectives comes novel solutions. New web 2.0 tools enable an enterprise to easily and cost effectively tap the collective intelligence of its people. 4. What are the benefits of a culture that is fit for innovation?
Enterprises that have established a high level of innovation fitness benefit from having everyone, everywhere, take responsibility for innovation everyday – whether as an Idea generator, mentor, sponsor, facilitator or team member. These organizations enjoy numerous advantages:
- An infinite source of high potential ideas
- Speed and agility of implementation
- Continuous performance improvement
- Delighted and loyal customers
- Employee engagement and satisfaction
The last bullet should not be overlooked. Innovation offers a powerful vehicle for engaging employees. Being invited to share your creativity and contribute ideas builds ownership, satisfaction, and loyalty. Few things are more motivating to employees than seeing their ideas get realized. It is a win-win proposition. The organization gets valuable ideas from employees who feel valued. 5. What can a leader do to enhance the innovation fitness of his or her enterprise?
There are many ways a leader can start the process of fostering an environment that welcomes innovation and gets the most out of the potentially boundless ideas of their employees. It you complete the survey, you will receive specific recommendations based on the fitness level of your organization.
We have found successful leaders boost the innovation potential of their enterprise by inspiring others about what is possible; ensuring the importance of innovation is recognized by all; and by creating what may at first sound like an impossible paradox – establishing a discipline of innovation. These leaders strategically and systematically build this discipline through a unique mix of resources, processes, tools, and values that allow everyone to contribute, while making it hard for rivals to match. People at all levels are expected to follow the leader and embrace an innovative mindset and master the skills required to achieve the highest levels of innovation fitness. These efforts produce significant results, and not empty slogans. Just imagine the impact on your organization if:
- Everybody came to work each day believing their ideas could shape the destiny of the enterprise.
- Everybody shared a common innovation language, concepts, and expertise – greatly enhancing their ability to discover new insights, identify unexploited opportunities, and develop valuable business ideas together quickly and cheaply.
If you have questions about the survey or how to improve the speed, flexibility or impact of your innovation efforts, please don't hesitate to contact the Enterprise Development Group (www.enterprisedevelop.com