Life Cycle of Innovation
The latest “Schumpeter” column from the The Economist discusses a new book on the perspiration side of innovation. Or put another way, if each of the letters of the word i-n-n-o-v-a-t-i-o-n were allocated an importance in the process the “i” would represent the idea and the remaining “nnovation” would represent the sweat and tears of making the idea a reality. A summary of the article would look something like this:i = glamour nnovation = hard work and boring i = letting your workers loose nnovation = ensuring employee accountability i = unpredictable and uncertain nnovation = efficiency, which leads to predictability and repeatability i = reject constraints, break all the rules, ask for forgiveness rather than permission, skunk works
nnovation = corporate establishment feels mocked so starves “i” of resources. “i” misses point of actually being part of corporate establishment by not fully utilising “nnovation” resources to boost idea. Mr Govindarajan and Mr Trimble (Authors of book) urge companies to establish dedicated innovation machines. This is how they see the i+nnovation process: i+nnovation = balance of company men and outside “rule breakers” i+nnovation = integrated with rest of company, share staff, maximise resources available, avoid skunk works i+nnovation = innovation machines should be managed using customised rather than generic metrics Here is a visual representation of another point of view of the innovation process by Tom Fishburne. This is the “i” point of view.