Wednesday, November 11, 2015

How to Overcome Innovation Challenges?

The purpose of Innovation Management is to prepare everything to maximize the transformation of an idea to innovation, through well-prepared process and structures.

Innovation is to manage novel ideas and generating business value from them. Even innovation is the light every organization is pursuing, but often the term "innovation" has become so diluted or meaning it is hard to have even a basic conversation about it without problems of definition or interpretation arising - and perhaps in part why all sort of things can feel like innovation - even if they are faking it. So which factors are causes of innovation failure, and how to survive from innovation fatigue and pitfalls?

Innovation is not equal to creativity: Innovation is an important business capability to decide the business’s long-term prosperity. Lots of ideas don't result in innovation success. Because innovation culture and innovation management underpin an organization’s innovation capability which enables the business to manage innovation in a systematic way and drives a high rate of innovation success. Because no one can always forecast future technological advances or the next business and industry disruptor accurately, however, one can create a system that will recognize and capture technological advances as they appear. A way of doing this is by creating innovation ecosystems in which innovation can be nurtured and fruited into its maturity.

Speak the same language and practice creative communication to harness innovation: Speaking about innovation is very important. But in order to make this conversation productive, all parties in or beyond the organization (innovation ecosystem)  need to speak the same language. And often there lies the problem because C-levels, HR, employees, customers, and business partners often speak different innovation languages. Therefore, establishing a language of innovation is the first--and perhaps the most important step toward creating the culture of innovation. Even your CxOs are not "innovation native" to say such a language, they need to learn the new innovation dialect and understand in the context of innovation. And they understand that they will check new ideas against feasibility and customer acceptance! After that digested, they eventually could start to BELIEVE in innovation and implement innovation management tools and processes. In addition, you begin the innovation with well-aligned structure and process. And if you keep perfecting them while communicating the results to the rest of your organization via clarified language, sooner or later, structure and process will become the culture.

At the heart of innovation, much of what needs to happen is just change management: So, there is an extra paradox, which is that it is easy to set up an innovation management process or team, but very difficult to find the fuel for this engine. And that is why most of the innovations are carried by a startup. The challenges are most of the well-established businesses today are wired for explicit/data-driven/quarterly measures. Therefore, building a culture of innovation is important for those that are not or not innovating well. Sometimes, you have to fake it till you make it! Meaning you have to work hard and keep at it even if the results and behaviors are not there yet. Innovation culture is about habits, beliefs, arts, and innovation is about change. Therefore, the Change Management mechanism needs to be well embedded in innovation processes to foster innovation culture and lubricate the innovation engine. It starts with understanding the causes of innovation failures in order to make change more effectively:
a) poor innovation culture
b) innovation novices
c) innovation lip service
d) focus on operations and enhancements (only incremental, low-risk territory)
e) lack of mature innovation culture and execution (balanced incremental & radical innovation)

The purpose of Innovation Management is to prepare everything to maximize the transformation of an idea to innovation, through well-prepared process and structures, to overcome innovation lip service, innovation fatigue, and innovation pitfalls, and build organizational level innovation capability seamlessly.


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