12 September 2021

Season 2, Episode 34. System Innovation with Jennifer Wilde and Dan McClure

In this episode, we have two guests, Jennifer Wilde and Dan McClure, to share their insights on the holistic approach in redesigning systems in the organization, how leadership impacts the platform for innovators, and how to encourage agility for choreographers to take the realm.


Jenny Wilde is currently serving as Managing Director at Innovation Ecosystem, an organization offering practical tools and support to deliver a step-change in innovation effectiveness. A leader in System Innovation, they enable organizations to solve challenging problems, and find the right solutions to build high impact change.


Dan McClure is a systems strategist and agile product manager. Dan helps organizations envision and create high-impact innovations. He has over 30 years of hands-on experience shaping systems-level initiatives that combine business + technology in tumultuous environments.



[00:26] Reimagine the Norm with System Innovation

  • Introducing Jenny and Dan
  • How system innovation allows a holistic approach
    • System innovation lets you understand the groundwork in context regarding -
      • Industry
      • Trends
      • Challenges
  • The caveat of conventional innovation
    • Conventional techniques produce quick results but often target small and incremental changes. System innovation asks the questions -
      • How are all these different people?
      • How are all these different activities connected?


[05:45] Creating Impact through Innovative Ecosystems

  • The wide scope and depth of system innovation
    • Implementing this approach entails looking into deeper aspects.
    • It’s about shifting the pieces around to make significant changes.
  • Becoming agile and adaptive to the environment
    • Small changes do not necessarily mean system change.
    • Take a step back to acknowledge the level of change.
      • Keeping the intent of redesigning the system
      • Not looking for the blemish, but complete change of the picture
      • Realizing the need for skilled people


[13:34] The System Innovator Choreographers in the Making

  • What makes a system innovator?
    • It doesn’t require you to be a genius. It is about being able to see the different parts of challenges.
    • Cultivate the right environment for people to bloom, not just be a hero.
  • Identifying cultural issues in the organization
    • Choreographers are chased out of traditional organizations. Embrace them as part of the creative process.
    • Leaders must provide an umbrella of support to the choreographers.
  • Providing vision for generalists
    • Choreographers don’t realize there is a job for what they do. Allow them to take full advantage of their creative mind.


[23:08] Final Thoughts 

  • Go get those difficult big wins. These difficult problems are your friends.
  • Connect with Jenny and Dan (Links Below)


Key Quotes:

“When you're looking at that kind of shrinking market share, or you know, creating something really big, it's no longer about trying to dodge the bullet, you know, it's about seeing the bullet and being able to work away, to send that bullet back.” - Jennifer Wilde

“Oftentimes, choreographers don't realize there is a job for what they do. And as a result, they end up squishing themselves into project manager roles, or business analyst roles for other technology jobs that offer them a bit of opportunity to stretch their creative muscle, but don't really take advantage of their, you know, natural talent for seeing the big picture for imagining entirely new system.” - Jennifer Wilde

“You realize that, in those circumstances where the entire world around you is being disrupted, or there's an unsolved problem that you haven't been successful with before, simply doing more of those little changes is not going to be enough. And as a result, the organizational practice changes that you need to embrace are not simply a case of doing the same kinds of things, but a little bit bigger or a little bit faster, or a little bit more agile, it's really a new definition of agile.” - Dan McClure

“Choreographers are chased out of traditional organizations. So part of the goal here is to rather than chasing them away, identifying them, bringing them in and embracing them as part of the creative process.” - Dan McClure


Connect with Jennifer and Dan

Website: https://www.innovationecosystem.com/

Jennifer’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jennifer-wilde-bbb05867/

Dan’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mccluredc/


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