Tuesday, November 24, 2015

CIO’s Digital Agenda V: How to Manage Innovation in a Systematic Way

CIO as "Chief Innovation Officer" is one of the most pertinent titles for modern CIOs to survive and thrive.
The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 1.1 million page views with about 2359+ blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. The content richness is not for its own sake, but to convey the vision and share the wisdom.


Generally speaking, innovation is how to transform the novel ideas into products and services to achieve its business value. Innovation has more enriched context than ever, and there are many forms of innovation - technology, application, product, design, process, business model, communication, management, culture and customer experience - just to name a few. Each has its own unique pathways. CIOs as business leaders: How can you manage Innovations in a systematic way?


How to Manage IT Innovation in a Systematic Way

  • CIO as Chief Innovation Officer - Modern CIOs have many personas indicated in the magic “I” of CIO title, Chief Innovation Officer is one of the most pertinent roles, because so much business innovation these days is enabled by technology, a good CIO with their finger on the pulse of technological advancement or information insight can provide many ideas on how new tech and abundance of info could create fresh business opportunities. CIOs are uniquely positioned to drive business innovation because of their vantage point in digital transformation. But how can CIO play such a new role more effectively.  


  • Innovation Gaps: There are many forms of innovation - technology, application, product, design, business model, process, communication, or customer experience, etc; and there’re also many ‘flavors’ of innovations, systematic innovation, customer-centric innovation, open innovation, design-driven innovation, or management innovation., etc, but fundamentally, what are the innovation gaps, the gap differentiation helps delineate the problems and opportunities for innovation, and through identifying such gaps, business can manage innovation portfolio more effectively.


  • Is Innovation Part of Strategy: With technological advances, businesses large or small have pressure to become more innovative in order to out-beat competition at today’s hyper-competitive business dynamic. But what’s the best scenario to practice innovation management. Does strategy include innovation or is there any additional need for a separate innovation strategy?


  • How to Run an Innovative IT? Modern IT continues to move up its maturity from a reactive helpdesk, back-office function into a proactive business partner and innovation engine. What are the tips and stories to create a culture of innovation? What are the innovation implications when IT leverages the Cloud model? How shall IT assess their partners for delivering innovative business solutions, should the business pay IT for being innovative thereby enabling business proactively?


  • IT Paradox: Should Creativity and Process go Hand in Hand? -Today, organizations have to compete on a global scale and creativity is not only valuable from a products/service standpoint, but can also add efficiency or effectiveness to IT operations, improving business-IT communication, innovate business culture, and provide for outside-the-box problem-solving capability as well.


  • Hybrid Innovation-Innovation is a management discipline, just like many key elements in businesses today, such as leadership, culture, process, or technology, etc, HYBRID is the digital fit style for managing innovation. From portfolio management point of view, companies need both incremental product/service innovations to thrive, but also desire large, disruptive innovations for a quantum leap. Managing innovation requires leaders, either formal or informal, to shepherd an idea through several phases of development, knowing when to move forward and when to return to an earlier phase. But more specifically, what is hybrid innovation and how to manage it effectively?


  • Innovation Measurement: How to Do it Right? Innovation is the light every organization must pursue now, but most of innovation initiatives fail to achieve the expected result. Druck is credited as saying: “We can only manage what we measure.” What is stopping you from measuring top line impact from innovation, how much revenue is generated by innovations launched in the last 5 years? Are innovation failures caused by the time lag, inefficiency of financial systems? Is your innovation process not so clear with limited information on what has been done, or something else for ineffective innovation management, like a fuzzy or not well-communicated strategy goals? And innovation measurement, how to do it right?

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