You’re bogged down in IT, you can see many ways in which innovation can support your colleagues in other functions across the company. But how do you get traction to broaden your remit to add the value that you’re sure is there?

  • Build your senior sponsorship to clear blocks and ease the way
  • Rebalance your current portfolio of activity to get the space to do so (reassuring colleagues they’ll still get the ‘narrow’ IT support they expect)
  • Change the culture and beliefs in the team (or divide people into teams to deliver the ‘traditional’ and the ‘new’)
  • Look at corporate processes to find the leverage points for the most effective innovation interventions
  • Find some examples from outside about how others are innovating to address the sorts of problems your colleagues face – so painting a picture of a possible future

Our client did the first three and we (I worked alongside a Cambridge consultancy specialising in innovation) helped with the last two.

Next steps for the client are to find opportunities for quick wins and continue the process of building understanding across the company of how the innovation team can help, get commitment to investment (and returns), and develop the capability of the team to deliver.

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Earlier this year, worked for a small infrastructure company helping them to refine their strategy and optimise the synergies between their service provision and their use of assets under management. I also worked with the Executive Team to revitalise their team performance, working with their personal aspirations and their team role profiles to explore new ways of working more effectively together in the context of the new strategy. With the Executive Team aligned, I then worked with the service teams to build their picture of how they contribute to the whole and how their careers might unfold inside the company. The end result is a re-enthused and more effective team at Executive level with functional teams now aligned with the strategy and working well together.