Academic Focus: University of Michigan

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Academic Focus: University of Michigan

Once you develop the capability to generate ideas, you need a rigorous approach to managing innovation within the context of your company's culture. For that, Professor Jeff DeGraff's Competing Values Framework (CVF) is the best-in-class approach. CVF describes four organizational cultural styles of managing innovation: Collaborate, Create, Control, and Compete. Management teams tend to gravitate towards one, dominant style, the one that has served them well in the past. To be a more effective, leaders need to be "ambidextrous." Leaders should become adroit at two conflicting values. "They must develop the ability to oversee teams that work towards opposite goals, integrating them when the timing is right, so that each value can be developed successfully."

Once you develop the capability to generate ideas, you need a rigorous approach to managing innovation within the context of your company’s culture.  For that, Professor Jeff DeGraff’s Competing Values Framework (CVF) is the best-in-class approach.  CVF describes four organizational cultural styles of managing innovation: Collaborate, Create, Control, and Compete.  Management teams tend to gravitate towards one dominant style, the one that has served them well in the past.  To be a more effective, leaders need to be “ambidextrous.”  Leaders should become adroit at two conflicting values.  “They must develop the ability to oversee teams that work towards opposite goals, integrating them when the timing is right, so that each value can be developed successfully.”

CVF

Here is Jeff’s biography from the University of Michigan website:

“Jeff DeGraff teaches MBA and Executive Education courses on managing creativity, innovation and change. Jeff is also a core faculty member in the University of Michigan Center for Leadership, Change and Innovation. Jeff’s research and writing focuses on change and innovation strategy, organizational competencies and innovation practices, and creativity methods. He is co-author of the books Creativity at Work: Developing the Right Practices to Make Innovation Happen, Leading Innovation: How to Jump Start Your Organization’s Growth Engine and Competing Values Leadership: Creating Value in Organizations. He is the Managing Director of Competing Values, a consulting practice that specializes in helping organizations make change and innovation happen.”

Jeff founded the Innovatrium, an innovation development community that is comprised of leading companies, government agencies, universities, trade associations, top faculty,researchers, students, and best in class growth and innovation experts.  Its mission:

Jeff DeGraff “The mission of Innovatrium is to be to the business practice of innovation what the Juilliard School is to music, bringing together master artists, teachers and students in a collaborative effort to create new ideas, skills and practices. Innovatrium integrates the best of consulting and teaching into action learning.”
I have had the pleasure of working with Jeff and seeing him in action.  I have read his books including “Leading Innovation: How to Jump Start Your Organization’s Growth Engine.”  It is one of the few innovation books that I recommend to colleagues.  Jeff has earned his nickname, The Dean of Innovation.