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Rekindle the latent innovation

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Introduction

Rekindle the latent innovation in your organisation for uncontested market space! By Director Tove Brink, Brink Development ApS tb@brinkdevelopment.dk Summary How is the latent energy within an organisation released and directed towards profitable new thinking? This is the core question discussed in this article. The hypothesis is that it is insufficient to appoint innovative talent in order to bring out the company's inherent capacity for innovation. Initiatives are needed founded on the fundamental ability of the organisation itself to demonstrate progressive ideas. The article is based on the author's consultations with S�by Shipyard LTD on the Danish island of �r�, in 2006. The shipyard, which is the largest employer on �r�, carries out a variety of repairs, reconstruction and maintenance work on ships up to 100 meters in length. A few new ships are being constructed as well. The current strategic process was deemed essential due to large new investments in the shipyard. Additionally, the company saw a need for an innovative strategic approach. The article is based on experiences from this process. J. P. Kotter J. G. March Organisations Extensive Changes 1. Are organisations inherently inflexible or innovative? Some organisational theories state that organisations are rigid and need strong efforts and management control in order to change. J. P. Kotter is a well-known proponent of this view. Other theories - that organisations possess large innovative reserves - are propounded by, among others, J. G. March, a theorist, with not as much practical clout as Kotter, since his research is less hands-on and hence less accessible. But who is right? Approachability and hands-on manuals do not determine what is best for the individual organisation. Organisations are very diverse, just like human beings, and do not fit one universal mould. Nonetheless, it is essential for an organisation to identify and uncover all intrinsic, latent, innovative resources within the company. Pressure from globalised markets, customers, suppliers and competitors, and rapid information networks set the agenda for continuously broader changes at steadily lower prices. ...read more.

Middle

Repeating the internal process - constantly identifying and developing competences and activities - creates another learning loop. In addition, the interchange between the external and the internal processes generates a third learning loop. Rapid innovation will ensue in this loose, yet also unifying learning circle resulting in systematic analysis and follow up. The learning loop consists of seven steps. Half of the allocated resources are expended within the area of externalisation, the other half within internalisation. This indicates a balanced approach to the two types of innovation. Furthermore, the individual steps are linked with the process starting at the top of the externalisation stage, proceeding through the internalisation phase and returning to the top of the externalisation segment. Understanding and insight, in addition to execution and action, belong in the external loop. Understanding and insight, and also competence development and activities, are in the internal loop. Understanding and insight - and hence knowledge - are the common elements on which further initiatives are based. Thus, the innovative learning organisation has been created and can be incorporated into day-to-day activities. The organisation as a whole is part of the innovation and ready to implement it. Here is a closer look at the seven steps: The steps are obvious and simple to complete, but they are heavily dependent on the correct pool of participants for the process, and the tools have to be adapted to the participants' way of thinking and to each business area to the greatest extent possible. The CompetenceWeb(r) process can therefore be implemented in many different ways, not only one - in fact, as many ways as there are organisations. The case studies in the book describe various types of adaptation3. Sustained effort A Better Workplace for All Wide Applicability 6. Can both types of innovation function together in day-to-day operations? The answer is Yes, provided the barriers mentioned above are removed, otherwise the answer is No. It depends on the willingness of the organisation to whole-heartedly adopt the concept of innovation. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is important to retain a holistic approach and continuously intensify it through the Competenceweb(r) process. The whole organisation is now an integral part of the company's innovation. The Knowledge Society Boldness is Needed 8. Conclusion: organisations can provide new thinking - if permitted to do so! It is therefore the contention of this author that J. G. March is right in his claims about organisations' innovative reserves. Organisations can contribute new thinking if provided with the right framework and opportunities. By establishing too many organisational, professional and hierarchical barriers - not to mention the barriers between the company and its customers - large amounts of motivation and energy are lost. Remove the barriers and use the new relationships for growth! The time has come to use a holistic perspective when assessing customer utility value and accept that individuals and organisation are able to handle complex issues. We no longer live in the industrial society where regulation could solve all problems. We now live in the extraordinarily complex knowledge society, which, according to George Huber5, a third well-known theoretical economist, will only grow more complex with time. There are some companies, however, who dare not make the leap. They believe they will lose control or that the initiatives will jeopardise the organisation. At one point the question will most likely be whether they can afford not to break down barriers and rekindle their companies' motivation, energy and innovation. A talented employee is an asset to the company's innovation. However, a talented organisation will multiply the power of innovation and hence the potential for success. 1 ) W. Chan Kim & Ren�e Mauborgne: Blue Ocean Strategy" , B�rsens Forlag A/S 2005 2 Tove Brink: "The CompetenceWeb", Forlaget Ankerhus A/S 2005 3 Tove Brink: "The CompetenceWeb", Forlaget Ankerhus A/S 2005 4 Tove Brink: "The CompetenceWeb", Forlaget Ankerhus A/S 2005 - Chapter. 4, p. 159. 5 George P. Huber: "The Necessary Nature of Future Firms, Attributes of Survivors in a Changing World", SAGE Publications ?? ?? ?? ?? Rekindle the latent innovation in your organisation 1 Innovation & Change Management Tove Brink CompetenceWeb(r) Process www.competenceweb.com ...read more.

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