This month Natalie Turner, founder and CEO of entheo, our “sister company” located in the U.K. was interviewed in Training Journal, one of the U.K.’s leading learning and development publications. entheo specializes in one of our favorite areas, innovation and change consultancy. Not surprisingly, Natalie had some great—as well as greatly relevant—things to say about innovation.
“The best chance any organization has of surviving in the short-term, and thriving in the longer, is to continuously innovate and differentiate itself, pre-empting both consumers and competitors, and leveraging what makes it distinctive: its people…”
“Most businesses still operate within paradigms of management thinking that were designed for an earlier age. Over the last century, there’s been unparalleled growth in innovative products, services and technologies, but innovation in management and leadership has been scarce…”
“The status quo is based on established models and structures, on conventional wisdom, on a factory mindset, in which people are treated as machinery.”
entheo has partnered with Brighton-based CENTRIM (Centre for Innovation Research Management). The Training Journal interview mentions the six core competencies of a successfully innovative organization which CENTRIM has identified through the center’s extensive research: focused leadership, intelligent decision-making, deep competence, facilitative structure, active learning, and enabling structures.
It’s also no surprise that entheo makes extensive use of our Managing Innovation program (co-developed with David Francis, Ph.D. of CENTRIM) and the five stages of the “Innovation Journey.” Says Turner, “Each stage demands defined skills. For example (the) ‘searching’ (phase) requires managers to frame the enquiry, facilitate creativity, identify opportunities and, finally, hunt and gather ideas. These capabilities provide a shorthand for management development.”
The article concludes: “…we should ask not the the cost of innovating, but the cost of not doing so. All our organizations face the same external factors yet what will differentiate the winners from the losers is how they respond to them.” Learning and Development needs “to develop innovation capability within its organization… to be the challenger not the defender of the status quo, the driver of change, rather than an anxious backseat passenger.”
Since I’ve also written about the cost of not innovating, I can only heartily second everything that Natalie has said.
All quotes from September 2009, Training Journal , “Boom and Trust” by Daniel Wain. The complete article is available at www.trainingjournal.com with registration for a trial subscription.