Innovate AND Exnovate

innovate_by JamesRichardsonExnovate/exnovation—or open, collaborative innovation—is a term that’s been around for quite a while. But every time I read something on it, I find myself a little more confused. So I did some research…and I thought I would share my insights and why I think the concept is worth sharing.

The concept entails quite a lot, including academic research in books and articles, a web platform, a European network, and even a LinkedIn discussion group.

So after doing my homework, here is the essence of how the general concept fits in with Vested. The way I see it, exnovation enhances the innovative spirit and process that’s embodied in the Vested mindset by adding an important level to the mix: the removal of barriers to innovation, along with the best way to bring innovative ideas to conclusion.

Exnovation also holds great value in the area of open innovation, which, like P&G and McDonald’s, invites parties from outside of the organization to be part of innovation projects.

Exnovation, it seems, is often an overlooked part of the innovation process. As I understand it, exnovation occurs at the end of the innovation life-cycle—it “discards” or purges existing practices to allow an organization to adopt different and fresh thinking to new innovation activities. Exnovation can also be an opportunity to improve existing practices. It culls through the organizational stuff and fluff that tends to build up in terms of policies, practices, rules and regulations – many of which may have outlived their use. Basically, exnovation is an examination of what’s working and what isn’t working.

I think leveraging exnovation thinking with Vested is a good idea. The Vested methodology features a step-by-step process and tools to help determine alignment and compatibility, state intentions, objectives and outcomes – which starts at the beginning of the Vested process. It continues through the development and governance of the enterprise with your business partner. Exnovation happens at the end of a project – and like Vested – can add a fresh perspective and acknowledge the ingenuity that often takes place as an idea evolves from concept to a successful launch.

Because Vested emphasizes long term partnerships over short term transactional procurement approaches, continually ensuring you have a vigorous innovation cycle is paramount. This is where adopting exnovation practices and thinking can help ensure “the flame stays alive” and the parties are continuing to drive innovation in their partnership.

So in sum, exnovation is the process of eliminating the unsustainable, irrelevant or unsuitable to constantly improve and renew the innovation process. This syncs well with the Vested approach to collaboration and sharing value, which meshes governance with insight and an innovative ecosystem from within and without.

Image: Innovate by James Richardson via Flickr

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