Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Innovation from Systems Thinking Perspective

The foundation for innovation has to be grounded in the “vision” which is linked to “hope” and seeking justice or "truth."

For many organizations, innovations are still serendipitous. However, serendipity can be planned as a management discipline. Serendipity is not a lucky accident, and it can be planned and worked upon. Creativity is about connecting the dots, and Systems Thinking is about to discover the patterns underlying these dots. How can we dig through the innovation from Systems Thinking perspective?

Innovation leads us to understand the wholeness: Since innovation, the practical application of creativity is essentially about problem-solving at various levels, and to solve a problem implies a wish to make something, or everything, perfect. That, in itself, seems to lead to a wish for understanding the wholeness. The interaction between what is within us (the Self), and how we project to the exterior world is the bridge to achieving wholeness. The constant negotiation between our essence and our projection is what leads to growth and human evolution. "Self" is that level of existence which is the genuine substance of who you are. It is eternal, yet it is very unique to you. You are unrepeatable. In other words, you are the expression of the eternal "Self" in a singular way. You are the light of knowledge and your light is also the goal of universal knowledge. You are the cause of your creation, yet you are above any causality. You are the Self. Do you think the development of the "Self" is something that is well-defined in most individuals at a young age or at all and does it take time, like wisdom from experiences in life for us to know the "Self"? The projection of Self to the exterior could mean that we try to change the Self, or we try to change the exterior. The interaction between the Self/You and the exterior world which is a projection of you; is that Consciousness (with capital "C") is trying to manifest itself in a way that is unique to you. In the world of the mere mortals, we say: that is your unique gift. You are the light of knowledge and your light is also the goal of universal knowledge. It is your light that is helping in the evolution of Consciousness.

The foundation for innovation has to be grounded in the “vision”: It has to be linked to “hope” and seeking justice or "truth." This causes conflicts because even though we might all have similar guideposts for our inner wholeness, we don't have the same grasp of truth unless we can accept the similar wholeness of our inner self. It is self-imposed by trying to make our “visions” reality. Just as we find energy is released from one steady-state to another, we find innovation from our outer realities attempts to change to the steady-state of our inner self. This energy is called innovation. Discovering the "truth" requires some analysis to understand multiple opinions and emotions which in many cases are among differing views and distorted facts, the inner and outer self is the struggle between what we know as reality and what we feel like our connection to the universe (wholeness within). The reality is the environment which is more in tune with the climate change, but inner wholeness is constant which relates to universal knowledge, and each of us has to find this constant for ourselves. We can help each other because it is the same truths for all humans, but to consume truths requires letting go of reality or setting aside the climate while we deliberate. This speaks volumes to customs and traditions that we humans have tried to mirror as “truths,” however, the real truth is that they can change and the human race will continue to proceed.

Innovation is an outcome of processes in the business ecosystem: We seem to all be seeking what human emotions drive us to create or innovate. There is a pairing of emotions to many actions. We cannot have an action development without psychological security (an emotion) and we cannot sustain security without development. So is innovation happening when we try to change the exterior, the environment outside ourselves? We look at people and people's activities, come to think of some possession or experiences which will make them related, send meaning to their life, or the meaning of their work, etc., make them see real value in terms of the investment they are ready to shell out for possession or experience of the same. That is a possibility to build a business around the idea or a concept arrived after meta-pattern recognition. Entrepreneurship begins with selling yourself and your value before any product is produced. Professionals as people do something because they enjoy or want to, not just for the money, but for the benefits it produces, the progress it achieves, and the satisfaction it gives us - the wholeness of Self or the purpose of life. Money is important, but not the only motivation. Innovation is creating to improve a state (process, person, product, etc). Improvement itself and the desire to improve comes from within.

There is an emotional life cycle in an innovation process: The kind of emotions within a person that triggers an improvement/innovation process can be numerous and most likely will be a combination of emotions! Certainly when you think that every rational thought is linked to emotions and creates a feeling. This is an ongoing process just like the feeling to improve and to create. We may need conflict to initiate, but after initiation, there should be a debate to create! So different kind of emotions is involved to truly become innovative. The conflict can come from internal conflict or conflict with the outside world. The most difficult part is to transform the conflict from within to a productivity lifecycle. This is wholeness. If you have a stable internal process and you can even help others, then innovation with the outside world will be the next challenge. The patience relates to tolerance and tolerance gives us the ability to understand other points of view; tenacity could help lead to your vision, and keep things on track, etc. Stamina might be a physical requirement to maintain this tenacity, however, innovation for the sake of innovating is exhaustive because what would be the purpose? The need to solve a problem might lead to innovation, but a need to innovate isn’t addressing the problem. There are more situations-related feelings that have an impact on you as a person or on your team. What about trust? Or what about happiness? So your emotional well-being has an impact on innovation, but what is triggering your emotions? What from the outside world has an impact? What about the right innovation climate? Your personal climate, your team climate or your organizational climate? Historically, innovation would seem to have emerged with an instinct for survival. Basic tools for hunting and gathering. So there's a connection, with emotional equivalents, with surviving each day. Greater leaps are found with agriculturally based societies; whereas, nomadic groups seem to have remained static, having adapted through trading. The environment either encourages or discourages innovation, the ease or difficulties inherent in surviving. Nowadays, with the speed of changes in the digital era, innovation is no longer a “nice to have,” but a “must-have” factor in business success.

Leveraging Systems Thinking in harnessing innovation is all about taking a scientific approach to problem identifying and solving. It allows you to a number of things: embrace uncertainty, identify interconnections and interdependencies, understand flows or the lack of them, and identify business opportunities.


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