A large, global company was reconstituting its corporate innovation team after a period of massive and intense reorganization involving all aspects of the business. The key innovation stakeholders were given what was essentially a blank sheet upon which to design and build a corporate innovation system that would drive transformational growth for the next decade and beyond.

As is the case with most organization design projects, this blank sheet came with a complex and intricate set of aspirational goals, situational circumstances and contextual constraints that had strong roots in the legacy organization.

One of the keys to the ultimate success of corporate innovation is establishing a central innovation group whose mission is to design, build, operate, and evolve the enterprise-wide innovation system. The term “system” is important. It is more than process alone. It encompasses the organization culture, structure, processes, people and metrics – the entire system.

The first step for a leader tasked with creating this innovation system is to build his or her support team. But how is this done well? What tools are available to help the leader build their team? The answer is a methodology that lets the leader create a structured and clear-eyed look at the jobs the group needs to accomplish, the roles required to accomplish these jobs and the proficiencies required to be a master of these roles.  These roles and proficiencies then need to be matched against the proficiencies of specific individuals and the roles they will fill.

Selected Readings

Where companies with a long-term view outperform their peers

More and more evidence is emerging that a long-term perspective and strategy serves companies well. This report presents a compelling case, but can Wall Street control its short-term impulses?

Original article | Read our short take

Mental Models I Find Repeatedly Useful

A useful compendium of mental models to consider in analysis, problem solving, and decision making. These complement other techniques (cognitive biases, intuition pumps, etc.) to help us think about complex systems.

Original article | Read our short take

Technological Tipping Points

It is interesting to take an updated look at the 2015 WEF report on technological tipping points. What does the list of 21 tipping points expected to occur by 2025 look like 2 years later?

Original article | Read our short take