Meme – Engine of Meaningful Creativity
The first key capability of an Innovation Team is Methodical Creativity.
Traditional project teams are seldom the source of original innovative ideas. Even less frequently do they develop these visions into elegant high value business solutions.
A capability for methodical repeatable creativity requires substantial additions to the project team. In most cases there is no appropriately skilled resource available to:
- Uncover unmet business opportunities and needs
- Discover new technical toolsets
- Envision innovations that deliver original business value
- Architect deep, broad, and flexible designs
- Act as the evangelist for new ideas
Instead most program teams (and even entire organizations) take project ideas as the come, in effect picking up ideas from where they happen to fall.
To deliver methodical creativity, an Innovation Team should make structural additions and changes:
- Revamp Account Consultant – Shift the emphasis of account management (sales) away from discovering existing client projects or selling ready made vendor solutions. Reorient the job to building deep insights into the client’s business challenges and opportunities. The Account Manager then becomes the pipeline for opportunity ideas to the project team. (Note this could be a true Vendor/Client relationship or an Internal Innovation Team / Business User partnership).
- Add a Researcher – Create a role with responsibility for discovering new technical tool sets. These technologies are inputs to creative design … not projects in themselves. They must be applied to business opportunities.
- Add a Business Innovation Architect – The BIA collaborates with the Account Consultant and Researcher to synthesize opportunities into actionable vision. They then extend and deepen the
design building business value which can then be sold across the organization.
Make meaningful creativity part of the team’s responsibilities. Create a team that is able to repeatedly identify, design, and sell business innovations.
- Are projects defined outside the project team? Is the vision already fully baked on delivery?
- Are the teams projects creating meaningful new business capabilities? Or just enhancing existing capabilities.
- Who on the team sees a client’s problems and opportunities?
- Who feeds new technological opportunities to the team?
- Who has the job of creating actionable ideas?
- Who has the job of taking incomplete rough ideas and building them out to maximize enterprise business value?
- Is there an expectation that ideas will sell themselves? If no who builds understanding and enthusiasm?