Welcome to this edition of our Business Performance eNews. We especially extend a warm hello to our new readers. This month, our focus is on innovation. The environments in which we conduct our business are changing at an ever rapid pace: new technologies, economic instabilities, changes to corporate governance, social upheaval, and so on. The best companies figured out long ago that staying still means going backwards.
In this issue, we feature a thought-provoking article from a leader in the field of innovation and creativity. Be sure to read Andy Beaulieu's piece if you really want to get to the heart of turning a great idea into business capital.
This month, we are also excited to announce the release of the Beta version of Andy's new innovation tracking tool. We not only want to provide you with expert advice on how to lead innovation in your organization, we want to give you the best tools to do it effectively. We encourage you to apply for the Beta testing program to get an early try out of this highly practical tool.
Do you need help with your current or future project? Are you looking for a professional trainer, facilitator or coach? Check out our dedicated team of experts ready to assist you in a variety of specialized fields. In this issue, we introduce you to one of our experts, Chris Bennett. Find out what Chris is up to in Meet Our Expert of the Month.
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So, you love our blog and would like to become a contributor? We openly welcome guest bloggers and encourage you to apply to become a regular contributor. To get started, simply follow these steps to become a guest blogger.
If you can write full-length articles and would like to submit them for publication in our Articles section, then check out how to submit an article for publication.
New Product Beta Release
On the 1st of July, we released the Beta version of our new Innovation Portfolio Tracker. Many organizations employ creative people with great - and some not so great - ideas. Businesses that succeed in this new volatile environment are those that can identify the best ideas and see them through to fruition. This is where our new tool helps organizations wanting to spearhead their innovation efforts.
Our new tool is based on Microsoft Excel, so it's easy to learn and use. By entering all of your company's innovative ideas and their characteristics into Innovation Portfolio Tracker, the tool will then help you keep track of each idea and make investment decisions based on key success criteria.
If you would like to try out the tool and provide valuable feedback as we bring the tool to market, contact us today. Please include your name, organization name and contact email address with your request. Beta testers will receive the first two years' worth of upgrades absolutely free. You will need to hurry as we have only 25 places to fill. If you wish to find out more about the testing program, visit the Innovation Portfolio Tracker blog.
Eight Key Dimensions to Sustainable Innovation
by Andy Beaulieu
There is no shortage of articles and vendors offering innovation advice and products. Most take a very narrow view, focusing on their specialty - stage gate processes, idea management systems or creativity techniques - while ignoring the fact that innovation happens in a rich context that must be aligned with its goals. Specifically, one must adopt a systems perspective when it comes to innovation, recognizing that a set of interdependent dimensions comprises one's innovation capability. The eight dimensions critical to innovation include:
- History and Results
- Strategy and Leadership
- Culture, Communication and Incentives
- Infrastructure, Skills, and Resources
- Ideation Process
- New Product/Service Commercialization
- Program Evaluation and Improvement
Some of these dimensions will seem obvious - Strategy and Leadership, for example - and others not so apparent. It's no coincidence that the eight dimensions start with results, the outcome of your innovation efforts. Similar to the old catchphrase, "The past is the best predictor of future performance", your ability to innovate is enhanced by having an innovation history - both ancient and recent - and by leveraging those successes going forward.
Read about the rest of the key dimensions to sustainable innovation.
Andy Beaulieu is also the author of our highly popular leadership succession planning software tool. Succession Planner software will help you manage your entire succession planning effort. From initially identifying your succession positions through to analyzing and reporting succession progress, this tool does it all. The familiar Microsoft Excel format gets you up and running as quickly as possible. Find out more and download the free demo version from our Succession Planner web page.
Meet Our Expert of the Month - Chris Bennett
Have you met our team of expert consultants, coaches and trainers? This month we proudly feature Chris Bennett. Chris has over 25 years' experience as a trainer, facilitator, and speaker. He is passionate about helping individuals and groups achieve positive, transformational change in the areas of personal and professional development and wellbeing. He uses a strength focused approach with a unique combination of practical Tai Chi exercises and philosophy plus Appreciative Inquiry.
Chris has worked with many organizations across business, government, and non-profit sectors, including large corporations, state and local government departments, SMEs, schools and sporting clubs. He has a highly flexible approach and adapts his sessions, presentations, workshops and conference energizers so the best possible outcome can be achieved. Chris explains his approach, "People need to want to change before it can become truly transformational change. I see my role essentially as a facilitator of change. To help that process along, my sessions are interactive, fun, and practical".
Chris also delivers, in partnership with Sue James, a highly successful program called The Essence of Appreciative Inquiry. He is currently finalizing venues and dates to repeat this program in Australia during 2012. Contact us today to find out more about the program or how Chris Bennett can help you.
Visit our web site at www.businessperform.com for lots of expert guidance and practical tools designed to help you get ahead of your competition. Also, be sure to pass this newsletter on to friends and colleagues who want to stay up with what's on. From all of us here on the Business Performance team, we wish you a productive month and look forward to communicating with you again soon.
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