Monday, January 4, 2016

CIO’s Digital Agenda XXVII: How to Solve these Innovation Dilemmas

Monden CIOs are paradoxical - they have to both "do more with innovation and cut costs"; standardizing processes and making change flow; setting priority right and letting creativity fly...

The traditional role of CIOs is to manage information, IT systems, and cost, now with information is permeating into every corner of business and digital technologies are more often the cause to innovation disruption, Chief Innovation Officer is indeed one of the most pertinent titles for CIOs to run IT as the innovation engine of their organization and move up IT maturity as a game changer, because innovation is the “must have” strategic capability of their business. But how canCIOs deal with these innovation Dilemmas?


CIO’s Innovation Dilemmas

  • What Triggers Innovation? The dictionary defines invention as 'a product of the imagination' and Innovation as "the act or process of introducing new ideas, devices, or methods." Everyone has, at least, one good idea that is capable of invention and innovation, great or small, manifested by overcoming that inner fear. And innovation does not just accidentally happen, it can be managed in more systematic way. But first you need to figure out: What triggers innovation?

  • Is Agile the friend or foe of creativity? As an emergent management philosophy and methodology, Agile spurs many fiery debates, such as Does Agile improve software quality or is it the very reason for defects increase? Are Agile making manager’s happy, employees unhappy? Can Agile thrive in a large enterprise environment? Here is another one: Is Agile the friend or the foe of creativity?

  • Is Efficiency Killing Innovation? At many organizations, in pursuit of operational excellence, there is such an emphasis on efficiency rather than innovation or creativity. Companies are focusing on improving margins by reducing the bottom-line rather than increasing the top-line business growth. The improving bottom line takes little creativity and risk, while working on the top-line takes risk and creativity, as it is not a sure thing. Does that mean efficiency killing innovation?

  • Standardization vs. Innovation: Are they Opposite?  Modern organizations have many hidden paradoxes, for example, customer satisfaction or employee satisfaction, which one comes first? Analytics or intuition, how to make a better decision? Here is another interesting dot connection debate: Standardization vs. Innovation, which one is more important?

  • Does Prioritization Stifle Creativity?  A company has finite resources to apply to get the best yield possible to meet a stakeholder expectation. So there’re always some constraints for businesses to explore the new opportunities or deploy the new ideas, therefore, evaluation and prioritization are taken place to leverage resources in project or innovation management. Does it mean such prioritization process will stifle the creativity?

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