Sunday, April 19, 2015

How to Manage the New Chapter of Digital Innovation

Innovation is the book never ends.

The world is becoming more hyper-connected with the latest digital technology advancement, are we ready to open the new chapter of digital innovation? Can we develop an approach which also places social, political and ethnic differences within a common framework to generate meaningful progress toward the next level of innovation? Is it possible to integrate the innovative concepts into a comprehensive approach that can generate intelligent solutions to the seemingly insurmountable large-scale problems? For example, how do you balance the partitioning of land and sea between man and nature? How can you use energy from sunlight to recycle all mass at the molecular scale locally? And if you were the Chief Innovation Officer in the organization or on the Earth, what’s your innovation agenda?

Look uphill to identify the real problems: Looking uphill can help to identify the real problems that matter, and on a scale that can make a difference. Looking deeply into the future can have a profound effect on where we go, and how we get there. From this perspective, both uphill and into the future, we gain an understanding of the unintended consequences of our actions in the future, and how to anticipate the problems of our own making. Besides those macro, large-scale problems, at the intermediate or micro level, for either organization or individual, how do you get motivated to be innovative at daily basis via solving real-world problems large or small, in a creative way. Innovation is not for its own sake, but for problem-solving.

Think bigger: It all starts at the beginning, to make the most impact. If we always do the same thing the same way, we'll always get the same result. What can we do differently? What is stopping people from being autonomous, pursuing mastery and seeking purpose? It's mastery by each individual when time permits and a singular purpose that involves the immediate reaction. This is part of the cognitive surplus. Yet, there are many who do not feel comfortable with self-direction, nor do they look to their jobs for the level of potential that is possible.

Motivation: As a Chief innovation officer, you need to listen, convey, inspire, motivate, bring in people to share the vision, inspire the mission, communicate the ideas, advocate people-centricity, start with the project, fund it, listen some more, create your next wave of innovation gurus, creative communicators, savvy experts, community activists, and make smart investment. Asking them to look into the future should trigger their imaginations. And having a true consideration for life provides a bit of guidance on how and why we undertake these efforts. The lives of kids, life swimming in the ocean, the lives of the birds and beasts, and life in the inner cities, all matters. We're dealing with the complexity of the whole planet. And if we're going to take action or promote behavior that we need to also assume responsibility for our advocacy.

Innovation Life Cycle Management: Having solved the motivation problem, and moved out of the way, what do you think the nearly 7 billion people on the planet would do if they had more autonomy, mastery, and purpose? Or put another way, what’re the best or next innovation practices, What are the structures for innovation? Money alone will not do it. Speakers or classes or signage or slogans will not do it. It requires acknowledgment, involvement, and commitment. It also needs to have principles, processes and performance measurement. Many like P-I-N approach to start handling new ideas:
* P - what is positive about the idea
* I - what is innovative about the idea
* N - what are the negatives, problems, risks

Digital innovation has a broader spectrum with hybrid nature, it is the incremental improvement- radical innovation continuum. 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 older familiar things are combined, the less likely is any disruption, although all innovations are disruptive of something or some behavior to some degree. The digital CIOs need to master at managing complexity and dynamic of innovation portfolio more effectively.


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