Who or what is The Innovation Whisperer and what exactly is Innovation Whispering?
The simple answer is that Innovation Whispering is a more gentle, yet more effective way of making Innovation work for your organisation.
But what is the aim of all this, why not simply follow the instructions contained in the ‘One minute guide to Innovation’ and all the other books that exist?
Let us go back to the term Horse Whisperer. Here is a definition from Google:
Noun. horse whisperer (plural horse whisperers) A horse trainer who adopts a sympathetic view of the motives, needs, and desires of the horse, based on modern equine psychology.
So there will be no brutal change programme and your employees and colleagues will want to participate. Your organisation will be transformed in an organic rather than a mechanistic way into the type of organisation that is fit for the future and able to transform itself without a heavy dependency on external (and expensive) agencies. Think Chameleon here!
For more background please read the blog post The Innovation Whisperer.
Transformation Begins From Day One.
Because there is no need to ‘rearrange the furniture’ before getting down to business we can get started together, straight away. This does not mean that there is no preparation work to be done prior to this.
There are no large, unwieldy project teams sited in expensive offices miles away from where you are. Work is carried out on site using co production wherever possible.
Faster Than Normal.
How fast is fast? Well, that depends on what business you are in but if you are making products then getting half a dozen or so products into the marketplace within six months is not impossible. If you don’t think that this can be done then you are nicely illustrating the problems that your business is having.
You Get What You Pay For.
In many cases, external change agents will ‘do things to you’. Even if this is what you intended, ask your self if the knowledge that is being created (the know how), that you have paid for, is actually ending up in your hands. If it all had to be done again, could you do it without any outside help? In many cases, this is not the case and businesses pay for this help over and over again or sign up for never ending (and often expensive) support contracts.
Everything is delivered, directly to you.
Flexibility Is Built In.
The whole aim is to create an organisation that can, to some extent, change itself. All organisations should be capable of scanning their external environments and reacting accordingly. Your organisation will be capable of weathering the next storm.
Intrinsic Motivation Comes For Free.
Neuroscience is a wonderful thing as it proves what many of us have suspected for some time. If you make your employees happy and engaged then, of course, good things can happen. But if you deliberately create the right conditions for Creativity to flourish (note these two states are not exactly the same) then you will get intrinsically motivated employees (amongst other benefits)as a by product and really great things will happen.
Confused? Then think about the following two statements: 1) All cats have four legs 2) Anything with four legs is a cat.
Help Is Always At Hand.
The most effective way of working (and learning) is to be ‘Hands Ready’. If someone is meddling continuously, you will never learn and employees will become change weary and somewhat cynical. To leave you to your own devices is irresponsible and not what you are paying money for. You want to get what you pay for and have it delivered as quickly as possible.
Improvements Can Be Objectively Measured.
Any changes are simply measured using a simple measurement tool. Using a model for Innovation which can be broken down into components allows for the desired behaviours and attitudes (or Innovation Capabilities if you prefer) to be measured with survey tools. Adding demographic information such as department or geographic location allows for interventions to be targeted thus saving money.
No Unnecessary Interventions.
Following on from the last point. If demographic information is used, we know exactly where improvements need to be made. No need to roll out hundreds of expensive workshops or seminars for every employee. You can invest your hard earned Innovation budgets elsewhere.
You may be asking how much will this cost me. Well in the past surveys of R&D spending have shown that many businesses spend at least 1% of their turnover on this item. It is possible to spend more and also a lot less, even as little as 0.1%. Many try to work it out themselves but get stuck. Instead of obtaining a return on investment for your Innovation effort, you can simply end up pouring money into a black hole. You need to avoid these Innovation Not Spots.
If you are stuck with your Innovation project or programme or you have significant blocks to creativity (either personal or organisational) then an Innovation Whisperer may be exactly what you need. What is the cost of NOT doing things this way?