I just skimmed the latest edition (is being released) of Davila, Epstein, and Shelton’s Making innovation work: How to manage it, measure it and profit from it. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Wharton School Publisher. The authors have provided an excellent read on applying innovation best practices in the real world of competition, sustainability, ethics, and preparing for and meeting the future marketplace head on.
What I love best about the latest edition is the clear, concise, and focused way that the authors present information and include templates, checklist, and what I term “cheat sheets” to help drive innovation.
For example: To analyze your company’s collaboration capabilities, the authors suggest you ask the following questions based on the ABCs framework. Answering the questions can assist in determining if your organization is ready to engage in collaboration endeavors and development.
ABC Framework Tool from “Making Innovation Work” Book
A = Alignment
Alignment can help make sure your business strategy is aligned well with related innovation goals and both strategy and goals are communicated throughout the organization consistently and clearly.
Q: To what extent is your overall business strategy supported by a strategy for collaborative innovation?
Q: How well do people at all levels of the organization understand the overall strategic direction and associated innovation goals? How strongly do they identify with these? And do they know how their actions contribute?
Q: Are the right processes in place to drive or support innovation at all levels of the organization, in operations, in business models and in the development of new offerings, for example, in manufacturing, sales, and corporate development?
Q: How well connected are the component parts of your organization to support innovation,
including R&D and sales, for example?
B = Boundaries
Organizations need to establish rules and policies that govern their relationships with external partners while maintaining an ongoing collaboration across organizations.
Q: How well does your current business model, operations and product portfolio support
collaboration with partners outside your company?
Q: How visible are these partnerships throughout your organization? How structured are the
processes for collaborating with external partners? Are roles and responsibilities for managing
collaboration internally and externally understood?
Q: In what ways are your processes, governance and operating guidelines designed specifically to facilitate sharing information with other companies? Do you have structures for resolving or
avoiding conflicts over intellectual property, ownership and other core issues?
Q: How does your technological infrastructure support collaborative processes across the extended enterprise, from basic communications to shared access to information, to real time collaboration?
Q: What kind of process do you have in place for monitoring and understanding potential changes in strategy or direction by any of your current and potential partners?
C = Commitment
Leadership needs to demonstrate a strong commitment to change and innovative thinking. They must be open and flexibility to new methods of learning and improving.
Q: How strongly does your company culture value spending time, energy and resources on
commercializing ideas obtained from outside?
Q: To what extent do leaders provide support for the strategic innovation agenda? How consistent is this over time?
Q: In what ways do your HR processes (hiring, training, performance management, incentives),
reporting relationships, and other organizational structures support collaborative innovation?
Q: Does your collaboration strategy enable the agility necessary to accommodate dynamic
Q: Does your organization capture lessons learned and apply these to future collaborations and, if so, to what degree?