For more than 30 years I’ve helped people throughout Europe, Asia and the US take focused, high-leverage, pragmatic action to build innovative agile organisations.
Innovation and agility aren’t things you can simply ‘bolt on’ to an existing organisation by setting up an innovation lab, creating a digital platform or partnering with external creative ideas agencies.
To survive and thrive in today's increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous world organisations must develop a culture where people create new value in new ways as a normal part of their day to day work.
This kind of culture of innovation is what makes firms like Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Google and Apple so agile, successful and valuable.
It’s the absence or loss of such a culture that anchors an organisation to the past and eventually leads to its demise.
If you've read my 22-page guide to the Five Fatal Habits that kill innovation and agility, you'll know that the reason most organisations don't become agile and innovative is that they fail to deal effectively with their cultural baggage. [The Five Fatal Habits guide is available as a free download here: >> Resources << - no email signup required].
You'll also know that efforts to overcome the five fatal habits, escape legacy cultural baggage and build an innovative agile organisation can only succeed when they're led, guided and delivered by people in the organisation themselves - not by an external consulting firm.
This means that organisations need motivated and enthusiastic internal change champions enabled and empowered by sponsoring executives.
Both the change champions and the sponsoring executives also need a clear and common understanding of how to go about achieving a successful cultural transformation as well as a shared commitment to work together in making it happen in practice.
Usually we then work together to identify, enrol and coach internal change champions to enable, enthuse and empower them to take a lead in finding and focusing on maximising the leverage for cultural transformation.
I first started to specialise in this work in the mid 1980’s when I led the Digital Systems Group at one of the world's leading providers of open innovation services.
We provided innovation services to ambitious organisations around the world, helping them achieve commercial advantage through effective integration of science, engineering and technology innovations within their businesses.
As well as providing a liberal helping of 'technology magic', success in this work fundamentally depended on our proven ability to build relationships with and between people throughout client organisations whose mindsets, attitudes and behaviours needed to change for the full innovation benefits to be realised.
Our collaborative, innovative, agile culture and way of working with people at all levels of client organisations prompted one senior executive to ask me:
"could you come and help get our people to behave more like your people?"