The Organizational Level is the top layer of the Continuous Innovation Framework. This level focuses on the relationship between the organization and the innovation; how the Continuous Innovation Board invests in, finances and manages innovations, how they deal with Strategic Drivers and determine the Value Goals, Focus Areas and Challenges for new ideas, how Business Owners play a very important role in embedding the new products and services in the rest of the organization and how innovations change the culture and operation of their companies.
Continuous Innovation Board
The Continuous Innovation Board (CIB) is responsible for the prioritization of the backlog of innovations based on the corporate’s best interest. It sets priorities by weighing the potential business value and cost of delay against the projected costs of development and business risk. The board also decided which innovation may continue or stop during the SWICHs. It grants the budget to the innovation projects and helps with the Business Owner buy-in in the Scaling Up Phase. The CIB guides priorities by acknowledging the strategic themes of the organization, driven by corporate strategic goals, technology drivers and/or business model disruptions.
The Continuous Innovation Board has to daily manage external Strategic Drivers, which are influencing the organization’s positioning and profile on a given market. These drivers are many times the primary inspiration for innovation within the company and fall under one of the following main groups:
- strategic themes that influence a company’s market or industry
- technological developments that create opportunities and threats for current solutions
- offerings and business model disruptions that create a need or opportunity for change
Value Goals, Focus Areas and Challenges
The Continuous Innovation Board is responsible to present a vision for the organization and a mission to obtain a specific position in the future market. The management will no longer dictate what to innovate, but why to innovate and therefore, they will provide guidelines on how to balance the existing operational excellence with the innovations required to achieve the mission. These guidelines are the following:
- Value goals (“What to deliver”)
- Focus areas (“Where to deliver”)
- Challenges (“The urgency to achieve”)
The Continuous Innovation Board uses Lean Budgeting to fund innovation initiatives just-in-time and just-enough to reach the next stage of development and deployment. Rather than making assumptions about required investment or value in the long run, with this lean budgeting approach they try to limit the period of committed funding to the shortest iteration.
The Business Owner is the manager responsible for adopting the innovation into the existing organizational process (or the development of a new process) by guiding change in the existing processes, skills, and architecture. The Continuous Innovation Board co-manages the innovation together with the Business Owner during the Scaling Up phase to make sure that the initial investment will be well-embedded in the organization and will provide a return on investment.
Continuous Innovation requires the ability of organizations to continuously change, either in business models, processes or organizational structure or technical capabilities. Such continuous change cannot be achieved by continuously reorganizing the existing structure. Instead, the aim is to create a single organizational structure that allows continuous organizational adaptation. Three key aspects of such an organizational structure include:
- Leadership that enables an ambidextrous organization,
- Adoption of Agile ways of working, and
- Lean change capabilities on all levels of the organization.