McGrath – An Innovation System

We are in the midst of Rita Gunther McGrath’s description of a high powered consultation designed to help a company build innovation competence would look. We started with building a risk taking matrix to outline potential growth paths. Then we went on to getting senior management support and setting up an innovation oversight system. Now we move to the rank and file

The key to getting rank and file to produce high value innovation is to understand what practices work and what practices do not. That can be — and should be — taught. In other words, your firm needs to set up an ongoing continuing education system for staff so that they begin to get the core vocabulary, incorporate it into what they do, learn from what they do, and transmit that learning back into the organization.

What goes into “innovation training” – Riga does not get into this (too bad for us). But we do know one element. That is the ability to distinguish knowledge (fixed unchanging conclusions about reality) from assumptions about reality. Too often we fail to see the assumptions that are driving our thinking and doing forward. It is a first step to become more aware of what changes might add value.

And we know some vocabulary about practices that needs to become intuitive – this is not a complete list but it gives the flavor of the thing

  • customer demand identification
  • market sizing
  • prototyping
  • business model design
  • discovery driven planning

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