Where are we now?

So where do we begin when building a high-involvement innovation culture?

An excellent place to start on this journey is with a clear idea of where we are now – where on this maturity model is our organization?

And as we’ve seen, high-involvement isn’t just about doing one or two things – there are several dimensions involved. So we want to understand where we are in relation to having those behaviors in place in our organization...

A self-assessment

Moving forward isn’t about making the same progress along all the dimensions; in fact, you'll likely have a profile for your organization with some areas where things are highly developed and others where there is a need to focus improvement efforts. In particular, a critical reflection on this will highlight strengths on which you can build and other areas where it will be worth investing development efforts.

Click the button below to download an easy-to-use interactive self-assessment survey (XLXS).

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Positioning – where on the model are we?

Rather than simply trying to make an educated guess at where we are on the model, we could use a more structured approach. Think about your organization as it is and the kinds of things people might say or do around the innovation theme. Use the statements of the questionnaire and try to answer them, building up a picture of how you might describe ‘the way we do things around here.’

Plot a simple profile chart by shading in everything to the left of your level. You should see a dominant clustering under one number – there may be some further right or left, but you have a sense of where most of your scores lie.

For example, you might have a full set of scores for Level 2, or some Level 2 with shades of Level 1 and Level 3, etc.

That’s a simple visual snapshot of your maturity level on the model.

So far, this is your assessment of the organization – a useful next step is to ask relevant colleagues to fill it in as well to get a sense of where they feel the organization is on the journey.

Cross-checking your assessment

It’s also useful to cross-check to make sure that the picture we built actually reflects the reality of innovation in our organization.

One way to do this is to look again at the patterns of behavior we’d expect to see in a mature organization and map our organization against these. Do we have these behaviors present, are they part of the ‘how we do things around here’ routines? If we took someone on a visit to our organization, what would they see or hear which would confirm the picture?

The table shows the kinds of patterns we might see in a high-scoring organization.

Click to enlarge. Download PDF.

Benchmarking against others

As a further cross-check, we could go back to the ‘archetypes’ we saw earlier when we were discussing culture (page 5; Innovation Culture).

Look at the description most closely corresponds to your position – does that feel about right?