The Impact of ACT-NOW! Aligning Behaviour of Future Leaders with Innovation Success Factors.

The ACT-NOW! experience brings previous research “to life” to accelerate the deep diffusion of innovations by enabling them to escape the gravity of daily business[1]. The play-script[2] mirrors the research-based story of evolving innovation-webs[3] which describes the evolution of innovations from ideation to market/adopter success. Enacting the play-script enables participants to not only understand, but experience such. An experientially driven behavioral change is achieved which in turn increases the probability that these factors will be focused in future innovation efforts. The primary interdependent acceleration factors for reducing the time for innovations to travel from ideation to market/adopter success that are focused on in ACT-NOW! are:

·         The availability of budget and resources to fund the effort to achieve adopter / market saturation. In Act IV: The Game Changers, participants are challenged to find an investor to fund the realization of their idea. The intended behavioural change is that in future efforts stakeholders will involve investors from the very start. This ensures that co-creation with view of later implementation needs becomes integral to the idea itself.

·         A high degree of shared urgency by all participants to ensure attention among conflicting priorities. This feeling is created by the actors having only a few hours to prepare for the performance of “The Innovation Journey” to a live audience. The importance of this becomes self-evident in the team dynamics as the “clock runs down” to the curtain rising. The intended behavioural change is that in future innovation efforts stakeholders will create the conditions for such high degrees of shared urgency to emerge.

·         The observability of the impact of the innovation to validate the proposed value creation. This ensures that the innovation results in tangible and visible value for all stakeholders. While this cannot be achieved in a simulation it is effectively emulated by the actual performance in front of a live audience.

·         The compatibility of the innovation with existing ways of work. This perspective emerges in Act II Scene 2 where the Marketeers and Sellers, representing “dogma”, challenge the Innovators to be clearer of the value proposition towards the future users / buyers. The result is disillusionment of the Innovators and renewed vigour in making benefits more tangible. The emphasis lies on the need to reach late adopters (that enable profit-maximization) versus innovator adopters (that are loss-leaders).

·         The population of all roles with unique individuals. During the preparation of performance actors quickly realize that they have unique competencies that map into different roles required during the innovation journey. This creates awareness that successful innovation is a team sport. In future stakeholders will thus work to create the consortium of the willing covering all roles from the outset of the effort.

The ACT-NOW! experience creates the common understanding of the importance of these factors and embeds this learning through the experience of simulating the innovation journey under play-in-a-day conditions. Participants are enabled to innovate more deeply and more rapidly.

Enabled participants become courageous innovative citizens with robust maps for the innovation.

[1] See Schwabe, O., Bilge, P., Hoessler, A., Tunc, T., Gaspar, D., Price, N., Sharir, L., Pasher, P., Erkoyuncu, J.A., Almeida, N. Formica, P., Schneider, S., Dietrich, F., Shehab, E. (2020) A Maturity Model for Rapid Diffusion of Innovation in High Value Manufacturing. CIRPe 2020 – 8th CIRP Global Web Conference – Flexible Mass Customization (paper accepted for publication). Pre-publication version available HERE.

[2] Play-script available HERE.

[3] See Schwabe, O., Schneider, L., Almeida N., Salvado, A.F. (2019) A Framework for Accelerating Innovation through Innovation Webs. Proceedings of the International Conference on Automation Innovation in Construction, Leiria, Portugal. Available HERE.


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