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The Create-Learn-Innovate-Perform (CLIP) model supports a culture of adaptive innovation for enhanced organisational performance by encouraging workplace learning and innovation through a framework of critical reflective dialogue and practice. Individuals and teams are empowered to fearlessly challenge conventional thinking and practice, once managers have fearlessly empowered teams and individuals.
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” - Charles Darwin
Stasis is the problem! In order to survive in a dynamic environment, organisations must be agile in adapting to change. Adaption is dependent on innovation, and within human systems innovation is dependent on learning. In daily work routines it is all too common to overlook and miss opportunities to learn. Failure to learn inhibits development of innovative capacity, both for individuals and organisations.
In the majority of workplaces the relationship between creating value, learning, innovation and performance is often indistinct, implicit and difficult to discern. The relationship is neither openly discussed nor actively exploited. As result learning and innovation opportunities pass unrealised, organisational performance falls far short of potential, and employees forego satisfying and rewarding personal development experiences. Organisational evolution stalls.
The Create-Learn-Innovate-Perform (CLIP) model is built on the following elegantly simple set of premises:
- The more you create, the greater the opportunity to learn.
- The more you learn, the greater the opportunity to innovate.
- The more you innovate, the greater the opportunity to create.
- When opportunities are consistently exploited at each stage, the create-learn-innovate cycle drives the fly-wheel of organisational performance.
But to exploit the create-learn-innovate cycle to realise enhanced performance, it is necessary to promote an organisational culture where individuals and teams not only feel safe to experiment, fail and innovate, but are expected, encouraged and supported to experiment, fail and innovate. And that path to cultural evolution is best navigated via critical reflective dialogue and practice.
Why critical reflection? Because critical reflection assists workers, as individuals and as teams, to more effectively harness and exploit the combined power of their knowledge, experience, insights and instinct in pursuit of positive professional outcomes. It also enables an organisation to engage more effectively in professional partnerships with external stakeholders.
It is difficult for workers and external stakeholders not to “buy-in” to the concept of positive professional outcomes. We all appreciate when we are the recipients of such positive outcomes, whether delivered by a sales assistant, dentist, bank manager or university lecturer. And once buy-in is secured, an explanation and demonstration of critical reflective strategies and techniques enables people to almost instantaneously commence reaping the benefits of critical reflection, individually and in teams. Where the positive professional outcomes pursued explicitly include mindful learning and innovation, within a short time, the fly-wheel of performance very quickly starts to accelerate.
The CLIP model integrated with a critical reflective culture enable people to talk and think about learning and innovation. This draws upon other theories of systems thinking, and double and triple-loop learning to increase the innovative absorptive capacity of an organisation. Through an organisational framework of critical reflective dialogue and practice, individuals and teams are empowered to fearlessly challenge conventional thinking and practice (activating second and third learning loops). In the process implicit values, obscure beliefs, and closed knowledge which influence organisational culture and practice are revealed and made explicit. If they withstand scrutiny they are endorsed and promoted. Where they fail scrutiny they are abandoned and replaced, with a set of explicit values, transparent beliefs and open knowledge which more effectively meet the needs of organisational performance. Through this process the culture of the organisation continues to evolve.
Additionally, a culture of critical reflection also supports and sustains diversity within teams and groups, which in turn assists to build innovation absorptive capacity. With mindful learning and innovation promoted as explicit, positive features of organisational culture, enhanced performance will almost certainly follow.
It’s all in your head! The first step to innovation is to change patterns of thinking. Within organizations, it is a matter of changing the patterns of thinking of a majority of people. Changes in patterns of thinking are best initiated through dialogue and discussion. Talk about ideas, notions and concepts in order to provide the catalyst for a collective change in mind-set.
Observe! Cast around the organisation for places and priorities for learning and innovation to occur. Consider how much learning has been occurring in the past, and if innovation has been forthcoming from these places
Query! Initiate discussion within the organization about the relationship between value-creation, learning, innovation and performance. Share some stories. Lift awareness of the relationship, and ask people what they think, and what they would suggest.
Reflect for Action! Engage in reflective dialogue in groups. Introduce the theory and practice of critical reflection to staff in order to generate the energy for the first wave of innovation – reflecting on reflection. Once they get it, they will work out the best way to generate the second wave of innovation - the best way to make the CLIP model and a critical reflective culture of innovation sustainable and prosperous.
Influenced by the works of:
Wesley M. Cohen
Peter F. Drucker
Daniel A. Levinthal
Donald A. Schön
Peter M. Senge