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Knowledge Innovation Assessment
Ten Steps to Success

The Situation gives rise to measurements.
Measurements give rise to estimates.
Estimates give rise to analysis.
Analysis gives rise to balancing.
Balance gives rise to triumph.
R.L. Wing Translation of Sun Tzu


Most organizations have been through the intricacies of TQM, restructuring and change management initiatives - perhaps more than they would like.

However, as painful as they may have been for some enterprises, the benefits (i.e., common training, focus on process, respect for the value of metrics, horizontal integration, etc.) cannot be overlooked; nor can the drawbacks (e.g., reduced creativity, risk aversion, inward versus outward focus, etc). The challenge for modern leadership - profit and not-for-profit - is to capitalize upon the best of the heritage, competencies and recent successes in a way that continues the momentum forward toward an uncertain future.

Now that we know from Dr. Peter Drucker that "innovation is the one competence needed in the future," and we know from recent surveys that "innovation is the number one benefit most important to the future success of the organization" we must make this process explicit and discover ways to manage the process systematically.

The Knowledge Innovation Assessment is a comprehensive dialogue tool designed to elicit the tacit knowledge resident in an organization. It provides for a systematic analysis of the capacity and capability of an organizations to create and move ideas into the marketplace profitably and expeditiously. It results in a strategy formulation document with a recommended course of action.

The assessment is designed according to a proven management architecture developed in1989 (i.e., performance, structure, people, process and technology) and includes all aspects of the innovation value-system - from idea creation through full commercialization. In this way, the modern management concepts are converted into a unique knowledge strategy intended to provide sustainable advantage.


By participating with your colleagues on a collective assessment of the organization, you are likely to achieve a common language as well as:

A measure of your current competence against 'world-class' standards for business success.
A synergy of shared purpose among a variety of managerial experts across multiple functions, sectors, industries and/or geographies.
Leverage of your investments in market research, organizational transformation, advertising and the use of computer/communications technology.
An integrated perspective of your knowledge management system from idea-creation through conversion and ultimate commercialization.
Actionable initiatives for meeting and setting world class standards.

Typical Format:

This activity is designed as a short-term engagement that includes some introductory training, focus group facilitation, synthesis/analysis according to the current state-of-the-practice and presentation of the findings in the form of a Strategy Formulation Report to enterprise leadership.

The Knowledge Innovation Assessment is an integrated design of ten diverse competencies essential in an innovation system:

Collaborative Process Products/Services
Performance Measures Strategic Alliances
Education/Development Market Image/Interaction
Learning Network Leadership/Leverage
Market Positioning Computer/Communications

Through a dialogue methodology with ENTOVATION professionals, representative from an organization explore their capacity to innovate.

Sometimes organizations may begin with the Litmus test. Next, they might explore the 5 Generations of Management.

Major companies have selected to read the book - Innovation Strategy for the Knowledge Economy - as a group and find the Business Literacy 2000 Study Guide useful. Groups interested in a computer diagnostic tool to record their responses take advantage of the Knowledge Innovation Software.

One manager is assigned as the point of reference for management on site.

An ENTOVATION professional is assigned to the engagement and additional ENTOVATION Fellows are included based upon their particular expertise and/or geographic locale.

It is recommended that the assessment include three visits to the site:
(1) introduction of the management concepts,
(2) facilitation of two-day focus groups and
(3) delivery of the assessment findings.

Introductory Seminar:
The concepts can be delivered as a briefing for senior executives and/or an open forum for a variety of managers.

Participants can include other stakeholders, such as partners, suppliers and/or customers. The training could also be designed as a one-day tutorial or a two-day interactive session. Ideally, all managers participating in the focus groups will be in attendance.

Innovation Focus Groups: Participants should be carefully selected to include all aspects of the assessment. Groups can be small leadership teams or be comprised of up to 50 individuals based upon the client needs.

The first day of the focus group session includes a capsule summary of the key concepts and a networked facilitation dialogue on five Modules (i.e., Collaborative Process, Performance Measures, Education/Development, Learning Network, and Innovation Intelligence. Second day of the focus groups concentrates on the remaining Modules (i.e., New Products/Services, Alliances/Licenses, Market Image, Leadership/Leverage and Communications Technology as well as preparation of summary and conclusions.

Strategy Formulation Findings: Results of the assessment are delivered to the leadership with copies made available to those who might benefit from the analysis. The process not only reports key findings with suggestions for action; it transfers the methodology of the innovation assessment in ways that promote continued periodic assessment of innovation performance.

Collaborative Knowledge Innovation Assessment:

Sometimes, it is not feasible for one organization to underwrite such an extensive exploration of their innovation process. There are options for organizations to cluster for the purpose of participating in the assessment collectively. This can be sponsored by a local consulting firm, a professional society, a regional network or consortium, or an organization interested in collaborating with their customers directly in the process. In this regard, they would all participate in the introductory training together. They perform the assessments at their companies independently. Then, they reconvene to share insights and get advice on plans of action. At all times, ENTOVATION colleagues are available to provide details of current best practice.

For further details about the assessment tools and methodology, contact Debra M. Amidon.

See CAM-I Case Study

What Clients and Colleagues say...

"...visionary solutions to difficult inter-organizational problems . . articulate and effective communication of complex ideas and concepts to diverse audiences."
Larry Sumney, President & CEO, Semiconductor Research Corporation

"Exceptionally skilled in building consensus and working on complex issues that require collaborative efforts with a rare quality of sensitivity and resoluteness."
Dr. George Kozmetsky, Founder and Senior Vice President, Teledyne Corporation

"Debra's work is pioneering, cutting edge stuff. She is superb at getting groups and individuals to go beyond where they thought they could go and emerge with vision and insight. Her wok pays off on your improved bottom line"
Mr. Lee Rivers, President, Technology Transfer Initiatives


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Last updated: 20 Dec 1999