Innovation means so many things to so many people, so first we need to have a common understanding of what innovation is.
Dr Richard Byrd from the University of Minnesota in the 1960s and 70s undertook some interesting work (see A Personal Guide to Risk Taking Richard E Byrd, AMACOM 1974), which has been further developed by Dr Jacqueline Byrd from a tool that looks at the innovation capacity of individuals to that of teams and organisations (see The Innovation Equation – Byrd & Brown, Pfefiffer 2003).
Called the ‘Creatrix™’ (www.creatrix.com) this instrument not only identifies the innovative capacity and index of an organisation, but provides the agenda for change. used by firms like 3M, Cargill, Country Inns & Suites, DuPont, John Deere, Yumm foods (Pizza Hut KFC etc), as well as many in the public sector. Leading UK firms like Laing O’Rourke have been using this method with their people for some years now and the NHS are starting to explore how this approach can benefit them.
The Creatrix looks at the culture in an organisation and the behaviours of individuals and teams. Based on sound psychometric principles and many 10s of thousands of applications the product is a proven approach to identifying and measuring the innovation index of an organisation as well as being the first step to identifying the actions required for development.
What does the Creatrix measure?
The Creatrix is based on what is called the Innovation Equation, where:
Innovation = Creativity X Risk Taking
Definition – “Innovation is the act of introducing something new”
Where creativity identified the ability to generate ‘new’ things or ideas and Risk Taking, the propensity to take action and overcome obstacles.
Where is innovation?
Traditionally in the UK we have looked at innovation as being something that is used for new products or services, we have failed to look at the wider picture and looked at innovation at all levels and everything we do as an organisation. The Innovation Equation takes a unique approach and enables robust measurement and practical application at all levels in an organisation.
Rear view or forward looking
One of the challenges in developing an indes from scratich is identifying what is ‘good practice’. Many of the organisations we would have considered ‘good’ 24 months ago are now in great difficulty. We need to look at individual excellence and application. The difference between looking in the rear view mirror and looking forward when driving.
Who are the best at innovation?
Some of the very best organisations at innovation just treat innovation as ‘the way we do business’ – it is in their culture and they rarely shout about ity – why – because innovations are largely very small steps in themselves and not worth shouting about. The focus is on improving the business – not gaining PR!
Firms like Virgin and the BBC are very good at this, they innovate on a daily basis – what we see are results not the process.
When UKplc gets away from innovation only being technical and is an attitude – then we will start to develop faster than ever before. Why? because as a country we have innovation running through our veins – we just need to run our organisations so that we engage that innovation.
RapidBI is proud to be one of the first firms in the UK to use the Creatrix innovation with its clients to give them the advantage.