The Innovation North Compass

The Innovation North Compass guides the innovation journey in designing new products, processes, or services. Rooted in systems thinking, it guides organizations to innovations that create value not only for themselves, but also for society.

The Innovation North Compass is being co-created by a team of management researchers and corporate innovators committed to positive systems change. The Compass helps innovators navigate and tackle complex risks and opportunities, especially in changing and dynamic environments.

Think of this tool as being constantly in motion. It’s dynamic, same as our day-to-day experiences. This isn’t a design thinking or stage-gate approach to innovation. It’s fluid. It’s about moving across, and in-and-out of different states, using the practices to guide our curiosity.

The Innovation North Compass is still a work-in-progress. In the spirit of co-learning and co-creating, we’re sharing here insights into the development of this tool. Our research team is readying it for release in early 2022.

One of the first expressions of the concepts behind the Compass established the differentiation between a linear approach, as is seen in design thinking or stage-gate frameworks, to one that reflects a circular model. This model approach infers a state of constant motion, with no beginning and no end, especially within dynamic and complex systems. The 3 nested circles represent the individual, organization and society.

Embracing storytelling as a powerful communications tool reflects how the Compass is deeply entrenching the values of interdependence and co-creation, and further investigating the power of knowledge creation that is forged through relationship.rnrnSituating how people show up within systems, highlights the systems innovation approach of addressing problems and opportunities through different perspectives, from the ego-centric to eco-centric.

Practice Partners that have participated in our Lab Sessions will recall this version of the Compass as we incorporate the real-time learning that has emerged from projects that have been undertaken in collaboration with our research team, the discussions led by our research collaborators, and the best practices and leading literature regarding systems innovation.

These early concepts of the Compass are showcasing a dynamic tool that guides the innovation cycle within enterprise, and were created by an agency collaborator earlier this year.