Wednesday, June 11, 2014

How to Overcome the Barrier of Effective Implementation of Innovation as a Strategy

Innovation has to result in something which leads us to a better state than where we are today.

Innovation strategy has to be practiced by management in true spirit. There should be encouragement and involvement by management to spread the spirit. In reality, there are many barriers to effective implementation of innovation as a strategy, what are they, and how to overcome them, though?

The balance of the profitability and innovation management. For any organization, revenue, and handsome profitability are very important, it is like oxygen. The organization has to survive first, and the foremost thing is to generate cash and take care of employees and other basic needs, then think of making handsome margins. This phenomenon is undoubtedly true. The ROI is very important for any organization and it is the lifeline to survive, grow, and sustain etc. On the other side, If you want to achieve better ROI for the long term, you have to innovate otherwise you become history. Understanding what innovation is all about and a mechanism to enable it is the biggest challenge. The word innovation is either misunderstood by many or by hearing word ‘innovation’, people step back. 

Innovation is different than creativity. Innovation should eventually result in business benefits - be it tangible or intangible. Most employees, when they are asked to put the focus on innovation, they tend to think only large, absolutely out of the box ideas - this is the disruptive innovation, Another type of Innovation is incremental manner - small innovation in day-to-day working. Overall speaking, there are both ‘hard-innovations’ such as product/service/process innovation and “soft innovation” such as leadership/management innovation, communication, culture innovation etc.

Cross-functional collaboration is crucialInnovation is the first step, what lacks is execution and, of course, the organization willing to accept change due to innovation and execution, and then, in particular, give it enough time to flourish. Some assume innovation and implementing unattainable goals, perhaps belonging only to an elite few who seek to steer the destiny of others. Since each human bears the potential of greatness as intellectual beings, cooperative effort is crucial. Therefore, each can contribute to overcoming barriers or creating them. If each team member recognizes the need, properly defined expectation, barriers are overcome. And, implementation of innovation is a collective and inclusive action by all in the organization/teams involved. It is by every individual in the stream from top to bottom line members of the implementing team.. Research shows that 1 out of 10 Innovation initiatives succeeds. The key issue is people & their emotions, their energy and focus.

Learning from business innovatorsWho are the highly successful innovative companies with the ability to innovate & implement successfully? The start-ups are mostly successful in innovating and implementing the strategy. And the dynamic companies that are always agile & nimble for reasons such as, their domain which might be fast changing, the culture of the company, size of the company, etc. What is the result that can be drawn by having identified the type of companies successful in innovating and implementing on a very high level:

(1) The motivation factor: One important aspect that spreads across both types of companies is the motivation factor. Startups are in the hunt to prove themselves and create their own space, hence, they are motivated. Similarly, the dynamic set of companies either are into some domain that is fast changing, highly competitive, hence, it has the motivation to be in the game or, that it has the culture with motivated individuals.

(2) Mind shiftWhile disruptive innovation requires the change of mindset. So it becomes important to drop all the historical burden and run light - which is what startups inherently do. Innovation, in any organization, comes with the baggage like concerns: Do we really need innovation, who will be held responsible, what will be the cost, risk, and ROI etc.

(3) OrchestrationIf the delicate, cooperative network between business and consumer can somehow facilitate innovative motivation, it seems to be a win-win for all. If basic methods are maintained to enhance community involvement as the life-blood of business, everyone prospers. But we all know in today's scenario where we have to work against all odds, so we are cornered to innovate to sustain but with a lot of resistance, as we are not sure about the results.

Organizations need leadership for growth and prosperity, and innovation leads the way. Consider how awesome the synergy of innovative implementation can be. Barriers can be daunting, yet overcome them. Innovative implementation has advanced many, but if something is missing, stagnation and uncertainty will surface. This means that there is a need for actual work to be happening to understand the basics, so it is possible to have the right innovative thought through a realistic approach by involving every line of people, processes, and resources. That's along with driving various strategies, initiatives, one important element is how we create value, what needs to be done to be ahead of the game, how do we out beat the competition, and how do we imagine what end users want immediately.

Innovation has to result in something which leads us to a better state than where we are today. People invest in many failed projects [hind sight] because they dream big; their thoughts did help the incubation but were not able to navigate the twists and turns during actual implementation, resulting in either a failed state or a completely inverse ROI. Hence, all talent shall contribute on how do you come out of the mindset, cultural barriers, and all possible hurdles and drive the innovation initiative effectively, create value and see the big change and reap the benefit early on and keep moving on the success path.


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