Tuesday, May 17, 2016

How to Build Innovation Strength in your Organization

Innovation per se is like composing a symphony, a lot of planning, but the music will come from the musicians, not the conductor.

Digital innovation has a broader spectrum with hybrid nature, it is the incremental improvement- radical innovation continuum. It has broader scope beyond just a new product or service, radical innovation brings something that was not existing before. Incremental Innovation is more about taking something someone created and adding to it, changing it, adapting it; or to leverage the latest technology for business improvement. A fine tuned innovation is not a serendipity, how to build innovation strength in your organization?



Innovation must be part of the organization's DNA - Culture: Instead of creating overly rigid processes, First, it’s more practical to create a set of digital innovation principles which are based on collaboration and co-creation. Innovation is not that difficult, but this is not to say that generating great new idea is not hard. Creativity in the "corporate" world has a lot to do with fostering a creative environment. Innovation will happen when people are given free space to be creative without rigid structures and without holding them back. If the environment is all about "you have to cover your back/mistakes," and then all the creativity in the world goes out of the window. If one is in an environment where he or she is allowed to make mistakes and learn from them; then it’s great for both, the individual and the company and the creative strength is built at the corporate level. Innovation comes with a risk of failure, usually not well tolerated in risk avoidance mind, protecting the interests of short term benefit. Therefore, innovators should always have the greater vision in mind and strive to return sustainable development and growth back to the business or society they are working in/for. The benefit is mutual. Innovation can have brand effect as well if the large successful organizations once have established themselves as thought leaders or indeed product innovation leaders often trade on their brand. Innovation is a culture more than anything, and it occurs of its own volition and often on its own time scale.
Build Innovation Framework: Innovation Management System includes policies, structure, and program that innovation managers can use to drive innovation. Remove any of the three, you're liable to fail. A defined structure is essential to managing innovation in a corporation, but there's no single structure that will work in every organization. More precisely, you don't structure innovation. You apply principles of approach and vary the resource and tool mix by the ever changing environment, day to day through the year to year. Trying to apply overly rigid structure applies limits to unleash full innovation potential. If the structure is meant in a methodological sense, then the structure is needed. For example, ideas are crucial to an innovation program. You need to make sure, that your company has a steady flow of fresh ideas floating in your innovation pipeline, and, therefore, you need a methodological platform that allows you to do that. Money facilitates innovation, but not guarantee the result. What you are primarily doing is harvesting ideas that have emerged and are waiting to be picked. The money will increase the willingness of employees to contribute the ideas or improve innovation management system. It doesn't mean though that it will increase the volume of ideas that are available to be collected. However, as processes yielding results, innovation and efficiency can complement and enhance each other, the balance of efficiency and innovation is the most challenging continuity regardless of the emphasis. The process to support the creation of sustainable, systematic innovation can be structured, but innovation per se is like composing a symphony, a lot of planning, but the music will come from the musicians, not the conductor.


Set Innovation Priorities: Building innovation strength via prioritizing resources, managing risks with a portfolio management approach. Innovation is a disciplined approach to discovering and building opportunities in creating new meaningful sources of value to targeted users. Innovation is the sustainable and scalable way that can be learned and practiced. Building a balanced innovation portfolio is a practical approach for optimizing resource and improving risk intelligence. Because innovation is not all about products and services, it can also be used for cost reductions, process and business model changes and improvement. It is hard to think of any innovation as not a hybrid, a combination of something old with something new or a number of new things. Probably, the more hybrid, the more familiar things are combined, the less likely is any disruption. The realities of corporate life don't allow companies to spend all their resources on radical innovation, and thus, more intrinsically risky innovation. It's generally believed that companies should have a balanced portfolio of innovation projects composed of 70%-80% of "incremental" innovations, 10~20% of "adjacent" and 5~10% of "radical/breakthrough." The precise ratio is dependent on the age/size of the company in some sense, to a particular need, whether individual, group or industry. Innovation is about transforming novel ideas to achieve its business value. Without a profit motive, it doesn't work. Leveraging tailored tools in effective innovation management is important to improve its success rate. The organizations with the healthy innovation appetites and systematic approach shall enjoy the balanced innovation portfolio with well mixed radical innovation and incremental innovation projects.

The purpose of Innovation Management is just so simple: If you work hard, have a good idea, and deliver value to your customers, you will be rewarded. It takes both strategy, discipline, and daily practices to flex your “innovation muscle. “ It has to become your business routine, corporate culture to renew creativity energy and it needs a system approach to running a balanced innovation portfolio for building innovation strength in your organization continually.

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