Global Drivers for Innovating in a New Era

How are leaders facilitating collaboration and innovation in a multicultural and networked world? Pre-pandemic rules and models no longer apply. New competencies are required to lead successful initiatives in a complex and changing environment. Which is why the Six Indicators from our 2020-22 Global Innovation Readiness Study have provided new insights on how to prepare for an innovation-driven era.

Future value will be based on sustainable solutions that are co-created with cross-cultural and cross-functional teams supported by a digital network. Our global study with innovation leaders allowed the development of Six Global Innovation Readiness Indicators that should be in place for international initiatives: Innovation Leadership, Human-Centric Focus, Collaboration Process, Network Intelligence, Innovation Culture, and Execution Mastery. Through our presentations and client engagements this Spring, we’ve received positive feedback on the value of the Six Indicators for identifying global readiness gaps.

Our research and client feedback show the greatest challenges are based on an effective innovation process that results in high team performance, from idea to execution. We’ve also noticed that leaders tend to discover at least three gaps or priorities. In order to provide a helpful guide in preparing your international initiatives, here are the Six Global Innovation Readiness Indicators with the questions to be considered before launching your next initiative:

1. Innovation Leadership

Innovation leaders will need to demonstrate inclusive practices in order to inspire and motivate cross-functional and cross-cultural collaboration throughout the international project process, from planning to execution. How are you serving as a knowledge facilitator to connect and engage geographically distributed teams?

2. Human-Centric Focus

A focus on human-centric behaviors and practices create empathy for employees and customers resulting in optimal experiences and increased engagement. Are you promoting interactions that enable trust and relationship-building across diverse cultures, languages and geographies?

3. Collaboration Process

The future is all about collaboration for a project and team-driven era. International leaders should be ready to inspire and empower teams to initiate ideas and share knowledge throughout the project journey. How are you engaging geographically distributed teams throughout every phase of the innovation project?

4. Network Intelligence

Collective problem-solving across cultures and disciplines will be important for creating valuable solutions. It enables local market intelligence from team members who have knowledge and experience of their contexts. Are you connecting teams effectively through digital platforms and tools where ideas and knowledge are optimized around the globe?

5. Innovation Culture

A global innovation culture was viewed as the top priority in our global study with an emphasis on values for cultural respect and understanding, innovative thinking and new ideas, knowledge-sharing and exchange. The innovation process shapes the culture where teams are inspired and engaged throughout the global initiative, from concept to market. Does your organization have a global innovation culture with shared values of cultural empathy, creativity, and collaboration?

6. Execution Mastery

The ability to orchestrate an effective execution process is critical for innovation performance and international market success. Participants in our global study showed more confidence in idea generation and less confidence in execution, knowledge-sharing and learning. Do you have a systematic project process that integrates knowledge-sharing and cross-cultural learning across the enterprise?

In reflecting on the Six Global Innovation Readiness Indicators, consider where there are gaps and where you need to invest in human-centric development and processes. You may also find there are global readiness strengths that can transform indicators that need improvement. Review your answers to the six questions and determine where your attention is required. Make sure to identify your top priorities for ensuring global innovation readiness in 2022 and beyond.

Author: Karina R. Jensen, Founder and Executive Director, Global Minds Network

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