Innovation Doesn’t Happen in a Closed System


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small__185472365An open, global and transparent economy means that now, more than ever, companies cannot rest on their laurels. Doing one thing and doing it well doesn’t work long-term. Keeping a team vibrant requires an infusion of new blood when stagnation rears its ugly head or when you need the next “big thing.”

The first real challenge that must be addressed is to determine when you need to make that change. Teams grow together – constantly churning members for the sake of change isn’t an ideal strategy. However, the other edge of that sword is waiting too long and arriving at a point that an infusion of new blood will become more negatively disruptive than positively invigorating. Here are three signs that might indicate that it’s time to shake things up a bit:

1) Planning reveals gaps. Gaps will first be noticed on the front end of the planning process when future state options are being explored. They will later be confirmed on the back end when gaps or voids are identified from the implementation roadmap. For example, your product managers know how to extend a current product line but not develop a new product. Steve Jobs said, “It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” You can’t always respond to what people think they want – sometimes it’s essential to show them, and fresh talent can help.

2) You’re behind the competition. If you begin to notice that your competitors are doing things in-house you can’t, or, worse, don’t consider doing at all, then an investment in talented professionals may help alter that trend.

3) Your hierarchy doesn’t following standard, industry accepted norms and practices. If you’re not aware of industry accepted norms, check out competency requirements on similar job descriptions, ask your network, post on a LinkedIn Group, interview organizations that do that discipline well and learn from them.How do you locate stagnation points within your organization? Besides adding new talent, do you have any systems to overcome those?

photo credit: Thomas Hawk

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Joanne McGowan
Joanne McGowan is co-owner and partner at Aveus, a global strategy and operational change firm. Joanne is a data junkie with years of knowledge and positive results in healthcare, insurance and telecom working on clients such as Verisign, IBM, AT&T, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, the University of Michigan Health System and Aflac.


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