Tag Archives: metrics

Failing Fast Leads to More Failure

Most Companies Fail at Innovation Because...One scary statistic is that 70% of change initiatives fail. An overwhelming proportion of new product launches fail. Most new businesses fail.

The sad fact is that failure is all around us.

Is this why so many organizations talk about a fear of failure being one of their major innovation stumbling blocks?

And, so what mantra do many innovation and growth gurus expound as a solution?

“We need to fail fast.”

“We need to fail forward.”

“We need to fail smart.”

So, the solution most innovation consultancies put forward to organizations already coping with the wide ranging effects of failure, is to tell their employees that they need to fail more.

Say what?

If you can’t tell already, I really hate the whole fail fast mantra. Can we kill it yet?

You don’t want to fail fast, you want to learn fast.

And so, if you switch to learning fast instead, the efforts of your employees should then become laser focused on identifying what you need to learn with each iteration, or each experiment.

And your focus should also then become all about how well you are instrumenting for the learning you are trying to achieve.

This is more consistent with failing forward, but WE ARE NOT FOCUSED ON FAILURE.

Focusing on failure, leads to failure. Failure becomes the expected outcome.

Instead, we are focused on learning fast, and we can learn equally well from success as we can from failure – if our learning instrumentation is good.

The way that you achieve success in change AND in innovation, is by working hard to move the potential causes of failure farther forward in the innovation or change project lifecycle so that you have an opportunity to either design the flaws or obstacles out, or communicate them out by forcing the tough conversations during your planning process (for change or innovation) — this comes before you even begin executing your plan.

You’ve got to surface the sources of resistance, the faulty assumptions, and the barriers to be overcome — early.

Then we build a plan focused not on quick wins, but on maintaining transparency and momentum throughout the change implementation.

You may have noticed that I use the terms innovation and change almost interchangeably (often in the same sentence). This is because innovation is all about change, and because many of the barriers to change inside organizations are the same barriers that innovators face.

As an answer to these challenges, I created the Change Planning Toolkit™ to help organizations beat the 70% change failure rate by providing a suite of tools that allow change leaders to make a more visual, collaborative approach to change efforts. At the center of the approach sits the Change Planning Canvas™, very visual, very collaborative ala Lean Startup to help you prototype and evolve your change approach before you ever begin. The toolkit comes with a QuickStart Guide and my latest book Charting Change was designed to ground people in the philosophies that will help them succeed with both little C change efforts (projects) and big C change efforts (digital transformations, mergers, acquisitions, INNOVATION, etc.).

So, stop bringing more failure into your organization, and instead bring the tools into your organization that will help you achieve more success!

SPECIAL UPDATE

The Experiment Canvas

To help everyone accelerate their learning and to achieve better success in their human-centered innovation efforts, I will be creating and licensing a Human-Centered Innovation Toolkit™ to innovation consultants and practitioners around the world. I have been sharing early elements with my clients and I’m proud to be able to give you all a valuable taste of the kinds of tools that will be in this toolkit when it launches later this year by providing advance access to the first free download – The Experiment Canvas™. Designed to be used iteratively, and to quickly capture in a visual, collaborative way (in similar fashion the Change Planning Toolkit™).

Download The Experiment Canvas™ as an 11"x17" scalable FREE PDF download
(a 35″x56″ poster size version is coming soon)

If you’re not clear on what the Change Planning Toolkit™ can do for you, please join me Thursday, June 8th at 9am PDT on Twitter for an Ask Me Anything (aka #AMA) session on the Change Planning Toolkit™ using the hashtag #cptoolkit and well, ask me anything!

A future #AMA on the Human-Centered Innovation Toolkit™ is coming soon too!

Innovation Audit from Braden Kelley

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What is your level of Innovation Maturity?

Innovation Maturity Introduction

When it comes to innovation, no two companies are likely to be pursuing innovation in the same way, and they are also likely to be at different stages of innovation maturity. Because of this, even if you found out what your competitor’s innovation strategy was, it would be of no use to you. It is necessary for an innovation strategy to be tailored to your organization’s level of innovation maturity, your corporate strategy, and your innovation vision.

Free Innovation Maturity AssessmentAn organization’s innovation maturity level is important because you must first master a certain set of basic innovation capabilities before implementing more advanced innovation approaches into your strategy. For example, an organization just getting started on their innovation journey would be foolish to try and implement open innovation in their organization. Every organization should get their idea generation (including evolution), idea evaluation, and idea commercialization policies and processes working well with their employees first before opening themselves up to the outside world. Your organization’s innovation strategy must be appropriate to your level of innovation maturity for your innovation efforts to be successful.

I developed the graphic below to explain the different levels of innovation maturity based on some thinking from Wharton professors Christian Terwiesch and Karl T. Ulrich, and I think it allows executives to determine at a glance where their organization is across the spectrum. I hope you find it useful.

Free Innovation Maturity Assessment

Special OfferTo help people evaluate their level of innovation maturity against the above graphic, I am sharing the 50 question innovation maturity assessment I use with clients. The assessment is most powerful when answers are gathered at multiple levels of the organization across several groups and several sites, but you can also fill it out yourself and get instant feedback – for FREE.

To get even more out of the innovation maturity assessment, for a nominal fee, I can help you organize a multiple group and/or multiple physical location survey of people in the organization to capture not just your level of innovation maturity, but also to provide preliminary innovation diagnostics on the areas of innovation challenge and opportunity in your organization.

I can set up a research study to capture a baseline innovation maturity level and analyze the data to unlock insights about the relative health of your innovation efforts. For a limited time, I will provide this service for the special introductory price of $499.99.

Click here to purchase the innovation diagnostic service
(Get help using the innovation maturity assessment across multiple sites and job functions and analyzing the results)

Innovation Maturity Model

Innovation Maturity Assessment Scoring Key (showing level of maturity)

Point totals are translated to the innovation maturity model as follows:

  • 000-100 = Level 1 – Reactive
  • 101-130 = Level 2 – Structured
  • 131-150 = Level 3 – In Control
  • 151-180 = Level 4 – Internalized
  • 181-200 = Level 5 – Continuously Improving

Click to begin the Innovation Maturity Assessment here online
(We’ll email your score with the maturity model and scoring key)

Innovation Maturity Assessment Instructions

1. Read each statement and determine how much you agree with each one, using this scale:

  • 0 – None
  • 1 – A Little
  • 2 – Partially
  • 3 – Often
  • 4 – Fully

2. Select the answer for each question that is most appropriate.

The form will score the innovation maturity assessment and return a result to you via email along with the SCORING KEY and the Innovation Maturity Model graphic. Store the result as a baseline and come back annually and re-take the assessment to measure your progress!

Click to begin the Innovation Maturity Assessment here online
(We’ll email your score with the maturity model and scoring key)

Click here to purchase the innovation diagnostic service
(Get help using the innovation maturity assessment across multiple sites and job functions and analyzing the results)

* Graphic adapted from the book Innovation Tournaments by Christian Terwiesch and Karl Ulrich

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Measuring Organizational Agility – The Triple T Metric v1.0

Measuring Organizational Agility - The Triple T MetricThere is an increasing amount of chatter and confusion out there around what organizational agility is and feeling that it must be important to organizational success.

But, before we discuss organizational agility, it is important to define what we mean by the term.

BusinessDictionary.com has a decent definition:

“The capability of a company to rapidly change or adapt in response to changes in the market. A high degree of organizational agility can help a company to react successfully to the emergence of new competitors, the development of new industry-changing technologies, or sudden shifts in overall market conditions.”

Usually people begin speaking about organizational agility and its importance to the success of the organization when they speak about the increasing pace of change, and the challenge the organization faces in keeping up.

Because of this, one of the key measures of organizational agility you may want to consider using, I like to call the Triple T Metric:

Time
to
Transform

The Triple T Metric is a measure of how long it takes an organization to make a transformation. But to measure your progress on the Triple T Metric over time, you must define it and measure it in a consistent manner. So, if a transformation is like a trip from Point A to Point B, we must define Point A and Point B.

  • Point A = the point in time at which the organization recognizes a change is needed away from the steady state
  • Point B = the point in time at which the organization successfully arrives at the new steady state

You’ll notice that Point A doesn’t start at the point at which people AGREE that a change is needed and AGREE to make it, but at the point the organization RECOGNIZES a change is needed. This is because there is great opportunity to increase your organizational agility by increasing the speed at which the organization moves from recognizing the need for change, to agreeing to change, to planning the change, to executing the change.

This is just v1.0 of our discussion of the Triple T Metric, to introduce the concept. We’ll get into more detail in a future post.

All of these transitions must be included because organizational agility is ultimately about how quickly the organization can successfully plan, lead, and execute (manage and maintain) a change effort, increasing your organizational agility requires that you increase both your change capability and your change capacity.

How fast can your organization change?

If you want to learn how to change faster, and make your organization more agile, grab a copy of Charting Change and the supporting materials for book buyers!


Accelerate your change and transformation success

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Innovation Quotes of the Day – April 30, 2012


“Albert Einstein wrote, ‘Everybody is a genius! But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid!’
We are all capable of doing one thing better than any other person alive at this time in history!”

– Matthew Kelly


“In order for innovation to reliably happen at every level of the organization, it will be extremely useful for all members to have access to the voice of the customer.”

– Braden Kelley


“Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not, and therefore the fount of all invention and innovation. In its arguably most transformative and revelatory capacity, it is the power to that enables us to empathize with humans whose experiences we have never shared.”

– J.K. Rowling


What are some of your favorite innovation quotes?

Add one or more to the comments, listing the quote and who said it, and I’ll share the best of the submissions as future innovation quotes of the day!

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