Wednesday, April 19, 2017

How to Walk the Innovation Talk Effortlessly

Walking the innovation talk is a well-prepared and business focused journey.

Digital is the era of innovation. Nowadays, many people and organizations are talking about innovation, but very few practice creativity persistently and manage innovation effectively, with the ability to walk the innovation talk effortlessly. There is innovation friction existing and change fatigue block the way. Once people get into a routine at work, they typically get stuck at the “We always do things like that” mentality, and they do not like to hear about how things could be done differently to make the work more productive, and innovative, or finding the better way to solve either the old or existing problems. So, digital business leaders today should learn how to walk the innovation talk and manage innovation in a structural way.

Innovation is not an aimless adventure, but a business value-driven journey: There are many areas within a company where the innovation process can be applied to create value. An Innovation Ecosystem is a systematic innovation methodological environment or a sort of "professional philosophy" for innovation. An effective 'innovation system' is capable of supporting both widespread incremental innovation in products/services and ways of working as well as the rarer 'step-change' innovation in products/services, working methodologies, business models, and market positioning. Digital innovation has expanded horizon, from hard innovations such as products/service/business model innovation to soft innovations such as leadership/communication/culture innovation. Innovation ecosystem or the methodological environment should cover the whole innovation process, from processes in managing ideas or idea handling systems to idea implementation and promotion. An enriched innovation ecosystem enables systematic innovation management. A clear vision and a handy roadmap could help “keep the ends in mind,” and take the journey with faster speed. It starts with innovation strategy defines "WHAT does the organization innovate" or "where should it innovate" to support the overall strategy. The robust processes, systems, and tools that enable any entity to generate winning concepts for innovation management on the consistent basis, is the prerequisite for sustaining digital business advantage and growth.

Be cautious of innovation pitfalls and overcome innovation roadblocks: All humans are naturally creative. However, many silo-based work environments contain overly rigid processes which stifle innovation and have hidden barriers which discourage creativity. At industrial silos, people are treated as resources and cost, and most works are operational in nature; however, digital breaks down such silo thinking and the era of new chapter of innovation is upon us, it is important to create and nurture an environment in your organization where inquisitiveness and humility are appreciated, curiosity is encouraged, and creative thinking is rewarded. The talent management gurus brainstorm the idea of 'productive friction' as a way of encouraging and instilling a creative innovative environment. The top-down approach is fitter for well-planned business improvement, and the disruptive innovations more often happen from bottom up. Creativity can make many operational works more effective, doing the right things, rather than just doing the things right. A creative working environment makes the work not just a job, but a career journey full of discovery and adventure.

Recognize innovation champions and build A+ innovative teams: Innovation is about moving forward. There is no standing still. Companies have to be prepared to lose some to gain more. In any business, if you are not moving forward, you are moving backward. It is critical to recognize your innovation champions and build creative teams with cognitive diversity. Because they set the great examples to walk the innovation talk effortlessly. However, most organizations still think their innovators as a troublemaker and misfit, get penalized, not rewarding, those companies are obviously the innovation laggard. Creativity is an innate ability of talented people and each innovation project is driven by a passionate advocate to advance the value creation process. Thus, having a champion for each initiative is critical to success. Innovation champions help to build productive teams. The multidisciplinary, team-based approach taps into the collective genius of innovators who can think and do things differently. It is important to strike the right balance of business stability and innovation via building a suitable and hybrid environment for stimulating creativity, encouraging originality, and measuring innovation.

Walking the innovation talk is a well-prepared and business focused journey. The creative workplace is based on a triangle with three vertices: culture, method, and people. “Business Creativity" must be something to do with the customers as digital is the age of the customer, to create an interactive environment with customers, so that you can reverse engineer from customer to a creative product. Innovation needs to lay out different structures, thinking, and solutions to allow this to develop into its potential where organizations are combining all that is available to them in imaginative, advantageous ways. take an innovation journey with solid footprints and create its own landscape and unique views.


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