The Importance of the Innovation Ecosystem

When a team of people sit down in a company today, the conversation is much less likely to be “What’s our strategy?” and much more likely to be “How are we going to become more innovative?” This is because it’s getting increasingly hard to win by setting a strategy and sticking to it. Not that innovation is easy either. But companies know they have no choice but to try to make it happen.

So how do you “make” innovation happen? Well, the first instinct that most people have is to set up a process. This can be an important step. But it’s not a cure-all. How do you get ideas into the process? How do you know which ideas to choose? How do you set yourselves up to execute on the ideas? What will it take to be successful?

For me, the short answer is intangible capital. The elements of your IC—human, relationship, structural and strategic—are also the ecosystem that makes innovation possible. You need to have the right people, the right partners, the right knowledge and the right culture to feed that innovation process.

A slightly longer answer is in this new video about growth and innovation that we created using our ICounts card game.

To become a more innovative organization, pay attention to your intangible capital ecosystem. Identify, measure and manage your resources with an eye to creating the best environment you can to inspire and cultivate the best new ideas.

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