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EFQM Innovation Framework – Direction

You may already be aware that the EFQM Innovation Framework is divided into 3 main elements - Direction, Execution and Results. In this step, we are going to look at Direction in more detail.
Section of the diagram of the EFQM Innovation Framework. Focus is on the Direction pillar.

You may already be aware that the EFQM Innovation Framework is divided into 3 main elements – Direction, Execution and Results. In this step, we are going to look at Direction in more detail.

EFQM Direction

The Direction element focuses on how an organisation develops a strategy that is focussed on innovation. There is an expectation that leaders at all levels demonstrate an innovation mindset and create a culture that encourages innovation and innovative thinking.

The Direction element has two criteria:

  • Criterion 1 – Vision and Leadership.

This criterion focuses on how the vision for innovation is developed by the leadership of the organisation. It has just one part, or sub-criterion (1.1).

  • Criterion 2 – Strategy and Innovation Culture.

This criterion focuses on how to create the right environment for innovation. It is split into two parts, or sub-criteria (2.1 and 2.2).

Each sub-criterion contains a number of guidance points which are called indicators. Let’s look at an example.

The indicators for sub-criterion 1.1 (Vision and leadership) are:

  1. There is a vision of what innovation means for the organisation and what could be achieved.
  2. Leaders demonstrate a commitment to the innovation vision through their behaviours and day-to-day activities with employees and stakeholders.
  3. The organisation’s values are clearly defined and support the innovation vision and activities.
  4. Leaders demonstrate a willingness to challenge the status quo and take calculated risks on innovative ideas/activities.
  5. Innovative behaviour and activity are used as a key criterion for rewarding leadership effectiveness within the organisation.

The EFQM Innovation Framework is Not Prescriptive.

You should not use the indicators as a checklist. They are there to provide you with guidance or inspiration. They are intended to prompt you to think about how your organisation approaches innovation and if the approach is working.

You can probably see that the indicators provide lots of ideas about how an organisation can start to address innovation. The example sub-criterion above might have prompted you to think about your own organisation. Perhaps you are wondering how your organisation defines innovation. You might be thinking about what the organisation wants to achieve from investing in innovation activities. In the next step we will start to look more closely at creating a culture of innovation.

Your task

Read through the list of guidance points for sub-criterion 1.1 again.

What does your organisation have in place that is relevant to the list?

Do you need to find out more about what exists in your organisation that is relevant to 1.1?

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