Thursday, February 6, 2014

Management Innovation

Management innovation has both hard elements such as process & metrics; and soft elements such as communication & culture.

Innovation is the light every organization is pursuing, however, from industry study, most companies renovate instead of innovating; what’s the underlining problems? Does that mean management innovation is perhaps the new angle to see through innovation management, as management innovation changes the way managers do what they do to improve organizational performance, where innovation is one of many management practices, but the critical one. 

Problem-solving mindset: Both management innovation and innovation management start with mind shift. Rather than see innovation as a goal, it would be best to see it as a set of tools to be used to address specific business issues in running a healthy, growing business. Many companies set out to innovate before defining the role that innovation will play in the business as a whole and where it fits in the overall strategy. It also needs to align innovation strategy with key ingredients of management innovation, such as the development of an innovative culture or business eco-system, which requires grounding in values, behaviors, systems and artifacts as well as collaboration with key stakeholders. The other thing is that organizations can't afford the risk of not engaging in disruptive innovation. So the point is not to denigrate incremental improvements in favor of "breakthroughs, but how to achieve both. In ambidextrous organizations, this is achieved by careful innovation portfolio management. So, without management innovation, companies tend to renovate rather than innovate, making innovations in other areas like culture, technology, service etc move very slow

Management style/tradition and the corporate culture play an essential role: Or to put it simply, what is management renovation or even disruptive management innovation? Management innovation includes multiple elements such as communication innovation, culture innovation, process innovation, etc, management innovation can be very powerful, yet, it really comes with personal risks as you get close to the “core of power and control”. To achieve that, the right atmosphere shall be created and maintained. The main issues of such atmosphere are:
1). No fear. Because when fear is present, brilliant ideas wait for better times or just diminish. 
2). Reward innovators: The person that brought the brilliant idea is not responsible for persuading the management of why is it a good idea, because, most brilliant minds in innovation are not strong in organizational politics. The organization shall do that task and credit the person thought of the brilliant idea. 
3) The support process. The innovation only begins with brilliant ideas. The organization shall develop the idea to the point it is a product or service.

Management innovation takes cross-functional collaboration, which is imperative for innovation management: The biggest problem is that the entire company is structured and organized to produce what they currently produce and it is staffed primarily to keep the current business humming. It is very difficult to have "Big Innovation" efforts vie for the same resources needed for implementation, especially when they lack the hard, historical metrics that companies are used for their decision-making. More specifically, due to the fear of failure, most companies renovate rather than innovate because of a lack of alignment between IT, Marketing, and the C-Suite, The problem is that in a lot of organizations, many departments think and operate independently of each other. In order to better understand a potential innovation, you require brainpower from all the right areas of expertise to contribute their thoughts on that innovation’s feasibility. Once this process takes place, or the management innovation tone is well set, the talent in charge have bought in with this new strategy, and with the collective knowledge of the company, it’s likely you can accelerate the implementation of the ideas as well.

Management innovation means to accelerate innovation at the multitude of levels: It's important to create the space for dialogue and debate about why it is important for their organization, developing a common understanding of it, creating the necessity and motivation for it. Enterprises that are able to successfully innovate at a breakthrough level can increase the likelihood that they will dominate and prosper in new markets that they create. Enterprises that restrict themselves to incremental innovation, on the other hand, risk unknowingly entering a vicious cycle in which they lag ever farther behind. There are two dominant obstacles that stand in the way of driving higher returns from innovation. A first challenge is a conservative approach itself, focusing on individual line extension renovation rather than developing a broader portfolio. Renovation can limit innovation to small incremental improvements and fail to result in significant step changes and revenue opportunities. 

Management innovation and innovation management will go hand in hand, mutually enforce each other to achieve the full business values of innovation.  


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