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Five ways to build innovation competencies in any organisation.

Posted 9 months ago

Organisations need a considered and structured approach to building competencies that drive innovation value. Here’s five ways any organisation can build on knowledge and skills to generate more value across their organisation:

  1. Start at the top

Ensure senior leaders have a deep understanding of the value innovation will generate for the organisation. Invest in their capabilities so they can lead the design of innovation strategy, scope and intent. Senior leadership should then have confidence to delegate authority to a skilled team who can navigate the uncertainty associated with innovation as well as the overall performance, efficiency and effectiveness of innovation and R&D across the organisation.

  1. Formal education and training

It’s not uncommon for organisations to delegate innovation and R&D management to trusted subject matter experts with long tenure in the organisation. This enables organisations to leverage technical expertise and organisational intelligence to their advantage. What’s often missing is formal education and training on how to organise and manage a whole-of-organisation innovation management system that supports great ideas. An innovation management system is not like other management systems. The uncertainty associated with innovation and R&D means it can’t always fit in with existing ways of working. You need people who can competently and confidently steward and champion a very different way of working to generate value. This can be achieved by investing in formal education and training on innovation and R&D management theory and practice.

  1. Map competencies for every stage

Map the unique competencies you need to excel at every stage of your innovation and R&D process. It should be a long list! Think data and insights, marketing and technology analysis, facilitation, stakeholder management, partnership brokering, communications, business case development, commercialisation, legal and IP….the list goes on. Identify the gaps and determine how the organisation will fill the most critical gaps at each stage.

  1. Outsource to access resources

Many organisations simply don’t have all the innovation resources and competencies they need, when they need them. This is where partnerships and collaboration come in to play. Consider partnering with specialist organisations that bring specific expertise, an independent voice or a trusted pair of hands to get the job done. Partner with universities, suppliers, vendors, manufacturers or other key stakeholders who share the same vision for generating value.

  1. Build capabilities across the whole organisation

Don’t just focus on building the capabilities of your innovation and R&D team, invest in the capabilities and development of everyone across the organisation. Make it easier by adopting a shared definition and vision for innovation, a common language and a defined methodology such as ISO56002 Innovation Management System Standards. Afterall, innovation is everybody’s business.

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Drop us a line if you would like to talk about a skills audit, training or workshops. Learn more here: https://impactinnovation.com/training/ or contact Chris Stevenson, Innovation Strategist: c.stevenson@impactinnovation.com.

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