Innovation is a key lever for growth in the commercial world. However, across all organizations, whether commercial or in the public, education or third sectors, innovation can create tangible gains in productivity, service provision and cost reduction.
Innovation is sometimes viewed as being all about new technology. But just as often it is about creating new services, processes or business models as well as products. It is sometimes viewed as equivalent to Creativity. While this is an important step in the overall process, much of the heavy lifting in innovation concerns the hard work and attention to detail required by implementation. We provide consultancy, for individuals and organizations, to enhance performance at all stages of the innovation process.
Innovation is a significant lever for growth in commercial organisations and for boosting efficiency in private, third and public sector organizations.
Some people confuse innovation with creativity. Although important, idea generation is but one step on the overall innovation journey. Much has to happen between the spark of an idea popping into someone's head and a product or service making a tangible impact on peoples' lives. We can help you in each of the following steps to innovation:
Key Process Areas of Innovation
Psychology has something to offer at each step. In addition we provide:
We will carry out a diagnosis of the state of innovation in your organization using a variety of tools.
Innovation Potential. We produce measures of innovation potential for individuals. This tool produces a profile of each individual's capabilities at each stage of the innovation process. It enables you to identify which people in your organization have particular skills (e.g. idea generators, idea connectors, idea evaluators, people connectors, people with the practical skills to turn ideas into reality and those who have the organizational skills to bring projects high in risk and uncertainty to a successful outcome). It covers personality characteristics such as openness to experience and conscientiousness as well as competencies.
The data can be aggregated to produce an innovation map at the enterprise level, highlighting strengths and gaps in innovation capability.
Innovation Capability Maturity Model. What is the state of innovation within your organization? Some organizations are more capable in this field than others. A Capability Maturity Model defines levels of formalisation and optimisation, which indicate maturity. Our model does not directly follow the Carnegie Mellon approach which was originally developed to assess software engineering and emphasises formality of process. Our model attempts to capture levels of maturity in a more fluid domain where creative problem solving is more important than bureaucracy.
Our model comprises Maturity Levels, Key Process Areas (see above), the Goals of the key process areas, and Key Practices.
Key Practices include:
Innovation Audit. This is an assessment based on interviews and focus groups, intended to identify the blockages to innovation in your organization. These may include, for example, lack of knowledge of consumer needs or the competitive landscape, internal competition for resources etc.
Culture Survey. This is intended to identify the organization's propensity for innovation. It covers factors such as attitudes to risk, power, failure and knowledge.
As a result of assessments we can create insight about individuals and the organization as a whole. We can then work through the wide range of actions an organization can take to build a sustainable innovation capability e.g.
We then move on to initiatives to build growth through the application of ideas.
Entrepreneurs are sometimes viewed as great innovators. But an entrepreneurial mind-set is broader than that. It is about identifying and seizing opportunities as well as taking measured risks. It is also about ownership and being freed from the constraints of the corporate world. We provide help to individuals considering setting up in business, as well as seasoned entrepreneurs. We also help existing organizations become more entrepreneurial. This includes:
Learning to cope with the stresses and high pressure demands.
Becoming more effective in problem solving and decision making.
Building and motivating winning teams.
Building an entrepreneurial culture.
We work with Entrepreneurs to help achieve their goals.
We will assess an individual's business and interpersonal skills from an entrepreneurial perspective. It is similar to our leadership assessment in that it entails personality and motivation questionnaires, 360-degree feedback and interviews. This particular process also includes a bespoke entrepreneurial capability questionnaire.
Following the assessment we explore strengths, development areas and particular problems the individual faces. One topic that sometimes emerges is the conflict between the entrepreneur's strong drive for independence and control, versus the need in business to co-operate and share responsibility. This can lead to pressure and stress if the individual is unwilling to delegate and trust others. Other examples include scaling up and handling complexity, coping with setbacks, coping with anxiety, securing finance, improving one's attitude to risk, dealing with difficult people etc.
We work with teams operating in an entrepreneurial environment. This entails observation, analysing strengths and weaknesses and analysing group dynamics. We collect data by interview, observation, using individual psychometrics and team questionnaires. Interventions can involve workshops (e.g. to define a team charter), individual coaching and team coaching.
This entails assessment of existing attitudes, values and processes followed by workshops and other interventions to introduce new modes of working.
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Oxford Business Psychology 2020