Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Making Innovation happen

Innovation must be part of the organization's DNA.

"Innovation is the process with the latent capacity to change the prevailing behavior of a group of people that initially has a stable behavioral platform." Is that overly complex enough? What takes to make innovation happen?

Keep it simple. Making innovation happen is not hard, indeed too much nonsense it talked about this. This is not rocket science but, to be frank, it's very simple once people know management is on board and there is a process in place and some basic training has been undertaken. Some thoughts on internal communication and project management as key enablers of innovation. 

Risk-taking attitude: Many organizations are not fertile ground for ideation, they hate taking risks, and seldom learn from their mistakes; their internal politics and fears kill creative projects by means of senseless KPIs, while they push down the innovation funnel; those tend to rely on competitors presence in the marketplace as a necessary condition for launch. They forget brand dilution, customer, and consumer relevance, then they start price promoting just to support the launch a bit longer. All of the above make the innovation practice everything but simple. Just on the matter of the fine organizations, can you name any product they have actually ever developed, brought to market and successfully commercialism, except their brand? Of course, it may be wrong, and no doubt they would respond with the argument that no, they don't do that, what they do is show other companies how to do it. It is reminded of that old saying, "those that can do - those that can't teach." 

Innovation must be part of the organization's DNA - Culture: Innovation is not that difficult, but this is not to say the generating great new idea is not hard. Large successful organizations once have established themselves as thought leaders or indeed product leaders often trade on their brand. Innovation will happen when people are given free space to be creative without rigid structures and without holding them back. The overriding mindset in many organizations is to kill new ideas, leaders and managers must diffuse innovation through the organization and include everyone in crafting the innovation strategy. The difference between invention and innovation lays in the ability to economically and commercially develop a new product and a new service in the marketplace. New ideas not in the market, do not build brands, do not connect with consumers and customers, and do not touch the bottom line. 

Hence, making innovation happen starts with a mindset, build risk-taking culture, and keep the business process as simple and flexible as possible, as the creative environment is an incubator for innovation, the harmony of people and process can orchestrate the impressive innovation symphony.


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