Xodus Advisory Innovation System
Xodus Advisory has many potential innovations involving energy transition, the financing of projects and restructuring the risk-reward profile for suppliers and partners. A collegiate culture is required to attract talent and foster creativity. Original views are needed for thought leadership. Senior-level talent is necessary for credibility and to network and engage with the client C-Suite. The question answered was: how can the leader gain visibility of progress, focus resources and accelerate commercialisation of innovations while not disrupting the culture, without hiring administration people and without burdening their work-load (to enable them to continue to successfully progress their own innovative breakthroughs)?
I was engaged to design an installation of the innovation system. This created visibility and control for the leader and generated renewed focus and enthusiasm from the team. It established a process to create a sustainable acceleration of innovation pace. The results have inspired similar activity at the wider group level championed by the division leader. The system was created and installed during the COVID-19 lockdown of 2020 using remote collaboration tools, on-line meetings and digital performance tracking methods.
The engagement started with a survey of the landscape, interviewing participants and determining: the leader’s agenda; the current inventory of innovations; and the alignment of the team. Further analysis was conducted to measure the depth and coverage of current activity using a gap-analysis benchmarked against my innovation-system maturity model.
To form the solid base needed to accelerate innovation led to interventions around: shared understanding; focus of resources; standardised reporting; and regular measurement. I guided the leader in ways to demonstrate priorities and use this to direct strategy and influence alignment. We selected a member of his team to be the focal point and co-designed a standard, simple way to record key information. This is now used by all innovation owners to focus activity and enable sharing across the team. Through standard (but nuanced) assessment of potential value and likelihood of success the team now selects which innovations to focus on and have established a routine of regular portfolio updates with defined mile-stones. Through this method visibility is maintained, shared direction created, and roadblocks quickly identified and addressed with cross-team support. Standard KPIs keep track of relative and absolute innovation velocity.
After the design and installation, I support in the acceleration phase. This deepens the alignment of the team with the leader’s agenda and works with peoples’ individual competencies to form teams capable of delivery. Additionally, competency development programs are being put in place, recruitment criteria is being tightened, and innovation owners receive coaching. The leader says they value access to an independent sounding board during this phase and that external support for the team has helped provide regular KPIs and maintains discipline. The increased focus on capability and process-maintenance are making the new ways-of-working routine practice.