Visualize, create, and optimize your innovation (eco)system with this card set of 120+ innovation vehicles and program building blocks. A tool for innovation executives, catalysts, and change agents who are serious about establishing a culture of innovation by changing their organization design and building a dedicated operating system for innovation.
You can now buy them digitally or support our crowdfunding for a print version!
— The Pain —
You will have to deal permanently will all kinds of obstacles to innovation in general and the happiness of your product and innovation teams in particular.
Neither your C-suite nor your colleagues and closest potential allies know how to organize for innovation. Ambidexterity is a foreign word; if not, it’s set up inefficiently. The innovation strategy is vague.
Your innovation lab, accelerator, and/or other programs are not interconnected and strategically aligned. It’s little fires everywhere. Lacking well-interlocked support structures, your teams struggle to create the groundbreaking innovations you crave.
The organization tends to attribute lower-than-expected results to low team performance. So, teams and individuals get blamed, not the (lacking) system that might have stifled them in the first place.
Due to fails and your unimpressive innovation track record, more pressure mounts, and the organization favors quick-win over long-term thinking. It puts faith in “success recipes” instead of striving to develop its own way of innovating. Lip service and grand speeches are the order of the day.
— The Support Tool —
Visualize and (re)design your innovation funnel’s support structures and help your innovation teams getting their work done with a turbo boost rather than internally induced friction.
✅ Bring influential (non-) innovation stakeholders up-to-date on how pioneer organizations set up their innovation support structures
✅ Communicate systemic connections to stressed, short-tempered stakeholders in a very short period of time.
✅ Produce buy-in for a more strategic view on support structures and foundational "building blocks" for innovation
✅ Familiarize yourself with and weigh up options to structure your innovation (eco)system
✅ Flexibily design your own innovation system without prescriptive recipes or frameworks
✅ Take decisions based on "next practice" and proven vehicles without reinventing the wheel
✅ Discover support structure and governance gaps in your innovation pipeline/funnel
✅ Overcome your innovation barriers by screening and adapting proven vehicles to your organization’s context
✅ Design and map your own innovation operating system and its support structures, and programs
Regularly gather your key stakeholders, innovation and product teams and visually check with them whether your support system is really serving them. Can be beautifully combined with existing tools and frameworks, such as: BMNT's Lean Innovation Pipeline, GroundControl's NEXT Canvas, Strategyzer's Ecosystem Map, LPK's Roadblocks to Innovation, and many more ...
Jan can only relax when he knows that things in the world are changing for the better. But for that to happen, people smarter than him must be allowed to be effective. He will, therefore, not rest until innovation and product teams in influential large organizations can really bring the new into the world — without any unnecessary politics and friction.
He has curated the card set from his observations of pioneer organizations (Intuit, Autodesk, SAP, etc.) but also from co-created interventions over the last 15 years as an innovation researcher, coach and strategy consultant, where amongst others, he worked with companies like Commerzbank/CommerzReal, Bosch, Wikimedia, Siemens/Next47, or Volkswagen. Today Jan is a partner in the Berlin-based innovation consulting boutique co:dify with current clients like Voith, Kelvion, Migros, RockTech, and Bosch China.
Out of a mixture of frustration and optimism of the will. You can read about it in a blog post here.
After having them mocked up for use in training, knowledge activation, and consulting work, I also obtained feedback from a small circle of innovation experts who tested them. The ways they and I used them are described in this little facilitator's guide: English Version (EN) | German Version (DE). This gives some inspiration on how you might use them too.
I didn't have the time and capacity yet to create specific company examples even though all cards' vehicles exist in real-world organizations (often a whole bunch of them in one single organization). By "coincidence" (and for a Barcamp-like online conference), however, Martin Jordan (back then GDS' Head of Service Design) and I mapped the English government's digital transformation structures though. You can watch an explanation video here. You can download the GDS-specific card set here if you are interested. Here you can also see it on a Miro board.
Only some of the building blocks are 1:1 applicable for companies under 1,000 or even 500 employees. Nonetheless, all of the cards can provide inspiration, because you can always ask yourself, "What person, group, or program element performs the job which this vehicle typically does in a progressive large organization?"
Because from experience I have no illusions that C-Level Executives actively search for such tools or apply them themselves. Strategic conversations in which the cards could be used are rather prepared and moderated by above mentioned persons on VP level. Of course, the tool was created specifically for this purpose, so that one can enter into an exchange with (also innovation-inexperienced) board members and managing directors faster and more comprehensibly, but its facilitation should be done by experts.
A mixture of many: It started with interviews and observations we made in pioneer organizations when conducting our research for our design thinking adaptation study “Parts without a Whole” in 2015. There we came across many thoughtful leadership decisions, scaling approaches, and innovation vehicles. Further, they have been fed by the fruitful exchanges on “next practices” between (corporate) innovation scholars and practitioners in various communities in the last ten years. To name a few: conferences and workshops at the HPI; industry networks like DTX and Design@Business; recently Innovation Leader and Innov8rs; and several small but highly professional meet-up groups. Some cards are also based on important academic theories, which we consider essential and which have become the cornerstones for innovation in the pioneer organizations mentioned above but which aren’t practiced widely in the industry yet. The same applies to pragmatic and practical approaches, which international (lean) innovation thought-leaders — whose thinking we at co:dify appreciate and follow — have developed. Last but not least, quite a few cards are fed by our own work and consulting experience.
Trust the inspiration but never the recipe. Create your own innovation system stimulated by building blocks and innovation pathway examples of international trailblazers. Design an innovation system that will eventually also survive your next CEO change.
All proceeds from the card sales go into the further development of this tool.
Then head over to our brand-new co:dify Innovator Utilities store now. You will not only level up your and your fellow innovation peers' knowledge and facilitation experience. Your purchase or pledge will also help create an updated version 2.0 of this tool with more background information on each building block. So, if you care as much about establishing innovation as a discipline as we do: swipe your card for our cards. 😉