Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Enterprise’s Innovation DNA

Last week, Apple lost its iconic co-founder, and the world lost one of the great innovators, Steve Jobs, but we can keep carrying on his legacy and mantra:

Keep Simple, Keep focus, Stay Hungary and Stay Foolish!

From one of the HBR’s research articles, innovative entrepreneurs have something called creative intelligence, which enables discovery yet differs from other types of intelligence, and leverage the five discovery skills (association, questioning, observation, experimenting and networking),  to create new ideas.  The same sets of attributes may also be instilled into modern enterprise’s innovation DNA: 
  • Process Innovation: Association   

"That's been one of my mantras -- focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it's worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains."   –Steve Jobs

Modern enterprises are over complex, the silo functions like the invisible walls, stop innovation flowing, also set the limit for talent growing, in addition, data, as 80% of corporate asset in digital era, has been set up the boundary to lose the insight.

The agile organization will connect all those dots through association, associate all related data to capture insight and foresight as well; associate business processes with enterprise architecture, business strategy, and decision management; associate talent with growing opportunities, the organization’s vision and incentive appreciation.  
  • Culture Innovation: Questioning      

Everyone here has the sense that right now is one of those moments when we are influencing the future. Steve Jobs

Culture is the most intangible, but the most powerful fabric surrounding organization and our society as well, the hierarchical organization operates through command and control.

The modern enterprises need instill the innovative culture by questioning--encouraging to ask the questions, the art of questions is to find the alternative solutions, connect the dots,  discover the blind spots, and challenge the status quo; The science of questions is about critical thinking, exploring the logic scenario and problem solving with scientific methodology.

  • Service Innovation: Observation

 When you ask a creative person how they did something, they may feel a little guilty, because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something.     –Steve Jobs

 Today’s business become hyper competitive, also hyper complex, on the other hand, the world is inter-connected and inter-dependent than ever, the progressive enterprise need learn and grow through observation; by observation, you recognize the pattern, by observation,  you connect the things; by observation, you associate the best services cross the industrial or geographic boundary.

The purpose of service innovation is to delight customers, by observing customers behavior and analyzing customers’ data, the business capture the insight to improve the service; by observing employee’s work habit, the business can proactively optimize business process and inspire staff to take extra miles; by observing industry trend, the business can adjust the strategy and priority to not only function well today, but also well prepare for the future.

  • Leadership Innovation : Experimenting
Don’t be trapped by Dogma.   –Steve Jobs

 20th century’s stereotyped leadership is not sufficient to face the rapidly changing global environment and digital era, the soft discipline like leadership also need  be reshaped through hard science, experimenting, prototyping and calculating.

Leadership experimenting also means seeing the world through different angles, empowering the talent to break through all sorts of ceilings (to name a few, such as glass ceilings, bamboo ceilings, cement ceilings., etc),  inspiring the fresh thinking and bold actions. Leadership experimenting can become the strategic step to revitalize the legacy businesses or industries.
  • Structure Innovation:  Networking

Creativity is about connecting the things     --Steve Jobs

The pyramidal structured organization brings up certain level of efficiency, the emerging social enterprise is to embrace the higher level of networking, not only promote the open leadership, engage employees communication, but also bring up customers and partners into conversation and participation.

Modern social/mobile/analytics technologies amplify the value through these business oriented networking, innovation get sparked continuously, collective wisdoms help organization make insightful decision and also take calculated risks.

Networked organization is more resilient and intelligent, to reimagine and reinvent growth with innovation DNA.

Think Differently to Change the World!





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