Methodology Conducting Experiments

Introduction to the Enabling Innovation Methodology

Fundamentally centred on the concept of experimentation the Enabling Innovation Methodology (EIM) is designed to release a workforce to become more innovative: implementing new thinking mainly in the direction of strategy, and to drive an organisation toward increasingly successful and sustainable futures. The EIM attempts to systemise innovation and to introduce fresh approaches to culture and behaviour across an organisation. It holds an overall mantra to: prove and infect in terms of visible wins and cross-functional collaboration so that all involved are positively engaged, upskilled in innovation practice and crucially responsible for perpetual improvement.

Organisations can establish specific objectives at outset: employing the EIM to generate systemic change in order to consciously evolve in general terms toward improved performance and competitive advantage or they can focus on, for instance, technology development or on a narrow project field.

Based on a sound academic footing the Enabling Innovation Methodology is a cumulative process: acquired through deep engagement with a range of large, global organisations; covering more than twenty five years of real world experience. Proprietary research in areas such as behavioural risk management - Innovation in a Regulatory Environment: Collaborative Approaches to Risk {Fletcher, Fain & Wagner/University of Strathclyde 2015} or the Scottish Government's HydroNation Innovation Panel on Innovation Culture in the Scottish Water Industry: Innovation - A Shared Vision {Fletcher, Whipp & Shouler 2015}, anchors the EIM in current best practice.

The EIM is also differentiated by its insistence on doing innovation as fundamental to the process and learning from it - as opposed to a traditional teaching programme where knowledge exchange is the only objective. This is achieved by working through a series of Experimental Labs, initially working with a small, focused team (preferably from the same function and not to be confused with an Innovation Team which may evolve later as a distinct role) acting as an incubator to wider involvement but continuously improving as idea generators, innovators and system creators as they move through the EIM; positively impacting the organisation on a range of fronts.

Experimental Labs

The Enabling Innovation Methodology follows a three part structure over eight to twelve months described as: Starting Points, Sophisticated Innovation and Infecting the Organisation. The EIM is designed as 25 sessions or Experimental Labs of a half day each split into three component formats; Learning, Experiments & Idea Generation and Project Work. (Visiting both small change and more ambitious tasks).

Ten 'Innovative Practices' (IP), from disruptive innovation through anti-conventional thinking to data analytics, will also be covered and space for task work out-with Lab time is deemed vital to success. Company visits feature across the EIM, designed to exemplify best practise or to collaborate with others 'on the journey' and highly experienced specialists from the EIP Team or invited guests will be involved as inspirational experts; chosen to deliver and facilitate.

The Yes Decision

Organisations will be faced with a number of choices at outset. Beyond the setting of mutually agreed objectives, the core organisation will be asked to become complicit in the decision to become an Innovative Culture; with permission for innovation implicit in participant roles. Those involved must make innovation and the EIM an important part of their jobs and not a side issue. Senior management must provide visible support, permission and offer a Senior Executive Responsible (SER).

Other considerations described as Agreed Functional Connections, such as: links to technology development, open innovation, communications (telling stories), strategy or intelligence guidance and brand association require to be discussed and established. Organisations will also have to decide upon aspects such as scope, risk, pace and urgency prior to initiation. (E.G. over what time scale, with what resources, spending what amount of time etc?.) Enabling Innovation Partners will of course provide overall management of the process and act as advisors throughout.

The EIM is a flexible, cumulative and living process but is designed to achieve traction and significant contribution over eight months to a year. Aspects such as benchmarking, idea tracking, measurement & review can be discussed as can a number of additional facets and interventions relevant to continuity, depth & roll-out.

Summary: Experimental Labs

Twenty-five sessions or experimental labs, usually developed over eight to twelve months and traditionally including the exploration of ten distinct innovation practices or IP: anti-conventional thinking, sustaining innovation, disruptive innovation, radical innovation, open innovation, discovery driven growth, creative destruction, competency creation, systems thinking & data analytics.


Inspirational Launch Day, followed by:

Part One Starting Points Seven Sessions
Part Two Sophisticated Innovation Seven Sessions
Part Three Infecting the Organisation Eleven Sessions

Session Format: each experimental lab is deemed a half day, split in three

Learning Idea Generation & Experiments Project Work (large & small)

Process Shape:

Process shape graphic
Intel feed Strategy Tech Dev
Open Innov Advisory Board Funding

Experimental Labs

Launch Day: removing participants from the organisational space for a day to introduce and inspire around core concepts, to bind the team and to begin the process with energy, pace and momentum. (Optional but advised.)

Starting Points (7 labs) [objectives, potential outcomes & proposed session progress available]

Overview & Introduction definition, scope, language & landscape Anti-conventional Thinking IP
Creating Purpose objectives, strategy, direction & 'our purpose phrase'
Creating Space virtual or physical, idea generation, when & where? Sustaining Innovation IP
Taking Action x 2 implementation, focus, projects and doing innovation
Communications bump rates, telling stories, internal & external comms Disruptive Innovation IP
Review where are we at ...

Sophisticated Innovation (7 labs)

Living Strategy vision, values, strategy & redefinition Radical Innovation IP
Open Innovation & Collaboration x 2 supply chains, R&D, tenders, distribution et al Open Innovation IP
Connecting the Future futurology, horizon scanning & connecting with the future
Prioritisation filter mechanics, priorities and getting to experiments Discovery Driven Growth IP
Tracking & Measurement storing ideas, tracking projects Creative Destruction IP
Review where are we at ...

Infecting the Organisation (11 labs)

Managing Risk x 2 What is it & how will we react Competency Creation IP
Leading Innovation x 2 bottom up thinking & downward facilitation
Creating Systems x 2 systemising innovation Systems Thinking IP
Technology Development x 2 link to scanning, readiness & invention
Collaboration x 2 sophisticated cross functionality Data as a Spur IP
Review what have we learned & where are we at ...

Additionality and Continuity

Enabling Innovation Partners offer a range of further components worthy of inclusion beyond the core EIM, described broadly as:



Continuity & Advancement

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