Implementation Insights Blog

Implementation Management Associates help organizations around the world achieve large-scale, complex change. This blog discusses our insights into organizational change.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Innovation Without Implementation Leads Nowhere

If your organization is like most, there is enormous emphasis on implementing innovation across the enterprise. Market-leading products, business process improvements, ground-breaking strategies, new markets, new green technology implementations--- all offer substantial potential for increasing market share and competitive advantage. Remember that by its very nature, innovation suggests speed. The greater the speed, the greater the chance for success. But without a structured process for implementation, the best idea is likely to fall flat or stall out.

Innovation is Complex

Most innovation is dramatic, large-scale, and a highly complex organizational change, with multiple interdependencies. The challenge of actually implementing innovation is arguably just as difficult as the process of creating the innovation itself. There are ways, however, to facilitate the implementation, applying structure, rigor, and business-discipline to all the elements required for success, including the human side of the changes represented by the innovation.

In many organizations, this typically means offering up a downward stream of one-way communication about the innovation. But communication and implementation are not synonymous. In fact, the probability of successful implementation of innovation is significantly enhanced when systematic attention is paid to six critical elements, all represented in the Accelerating Implementation Methodology (AIM).

Six Areas of Need for Implementation Attention

These six elements are:
1. Defining the Change, meaning getting alignment around the scope and business case for the change, including the business, technical and human objectives for the innovation, described in a succinct yet compelling Business Case for Action.

2. Building Change Agent Capacity, meaning development of a highly-qualified, highly-skilled network of Change Agents who will implement the changes around the innovation at the local level. Remember that even if the innovation is developed at the corporate level, implementation is at the local level.

3. Generating Project Sponsorship, meaning a network of Sponsors who are reinforcing the desired new behaviors associated with the innovation down and across the enterprise.

4. Creating Target Readiness for the Change, meaning that you are preparing the organization by surfacing and managing resistance to the innovation. Innovation is disruptive, so even if it represents forward progress and what would be considered “positive”, resistance is inevitable.

5. Building a Communication Plan, meaning application of multiple delivery methods that communicate the changes around the innovation in the Frame of Reference of the Targets, with feedback loops built in so that you can gather data back from the Targets.

6. Developing a Reinforcement Strategy, meaning there are positive consequences for those that demonstrate they are “on the bus”, and negative consequences for those that continue to work in the old ways. These reinforcements must be meaningful for the Targets, and applied with immediacy and certainty.

Compared to the cost of the innovation itself, the investment in a business-disciplined and structured framework for managing the human side of the implementation is small, but the return is great.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home