The stable platforms on which good performing businesses are built (e.g. budgets, plans, standard procedures, products, services, and processes) must be protected from two sources of trouble; unplanned change and execution variance.  Both unplanned change and execution variance introduce uncertainty into the business which can have a negative impact on performance and business results. 

The ”fail fast, fail early, fail often” innovating philosophy and Stage – Gate decision management process are 2 components in a business’s stability moat.  They seek to prevent unplanned and costly change from getting into a business and disrupting its ability to execute.  But these two ways of controlling innovating’s potential negative impact constitute a small part of what fills the stability moat.  The bulk of the stability moat is filled with the business’s Quality System.

Many businesses have a Quality System either certified by, or patterned after, the international quality standard ISO 9001.  The fundamental premise of ISO 9001 is to minimize variance in all aspects of business operations as a methodology to maximize performance.  The engagement, documentation, training, and process control requirements of ISO certification create a considerable barrier to change in the business.  

Too often, creating and implementing new quality standards associated with an innovating driven change are not included in the project’s plans.  Equally often, when the Quality System changes are considered, the scope of work, time, and expense to create new standards become a reason to not proceed with the innovating project.  The uncertainty of project outcomes is simply too great to justify the costs of changing the Quality System.

The purpose of the stability moat is to prevent uncertainty from increasing the costs of doing business.  The costs of change in an uncertain environment are potentially high.  It is essential to prevent uncertainty and the unanticipated costs of change from impacting business performance and stymieing deployment of an innovative solution.

Successful innovating requires identifying and minimizing uncertainty from all sources as quickly as possible.  Agile Innovating TM is an innovating business system that purposefully identifies and reduces the sources of uncertainty that reinforce the stability moat throughout the project.  Contact us to increase your innovating hit rate, yielding more innovation faster, making innovation the norm. 

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