Dear Innovation Enthusiast,
I’m writing from Copenhagen, Denmark, where I am teaching in Danish Technical University’s “Certificate in Entrepreneurial Leadership” program. This is the fourth class for this program. It’s designed for project team leaders who are trying to develop new businesses for their companies based on gamechanging sorts of innovation, where, as you know, ambiguity is high and the risk levels aren’t so pretty.
It’s rewarding to be here teaching, watching these companies adopt the concepts of an innovation management system and adopting approaches like the Learning Plan to drive organic growth through innovation. Denmark is a remarkable country due to its unrelenting focus on innovation. And they’re having their impact in certain industries such as enzymatic processes, oil recovery, biofuels, and cleantech in general.
But I have to ask myself…is the US keeping pace? While Danish companies appear to embrace the latest management practices and learning for developing an innovation competency, what are US companies doing? Trying, flailing about. Putting “innovation” VP’s in place. But how are they learning? Where are the networking communities they turn to for support? How are they gauging best practice, and, indeed, the latest news on how to develop a fully functional innovation capability?
If we ever needed strong innovation functions in our companies, the time is now. With financial markets falling apart, it’s only through strong fundamentals that companies will be able to grow. By fundamentals I mean offering wholly new to the world offerings that provide orders of magnitude differences in how we solve problems of today.
So, how are you progressing on your journey of building an innovation capability in your company? I mean one with staying power. One that delivers. Not the ‘program du jour’ sort of thing that we all greet with cynicism these days.
Held og lykke,