Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Monthly “Unpuzzling Innovation” Book Tuning: Take a Structural Approach to Manage Innovation July 2017

Innovation is not the serendipity, it is the process which can be managed and the capability must be built to improve the business competency.

Digital is the age of innovation. And innovation is what leads to differentiation. There are many ways to differentiate and, therefore, there are many ways to pursue innovation. Talking of innovation is not new nowadays, everybody, every organization now is talking about innovation. It's been at or near the top of the business or economics agenda for a long time. However, there’re a lot of confusions about innovation and there is no magic sauce to guarantee its success. Back to basic, what is innovation, the more you look into this topic, the more difficult to give a definition of innovation, as it is such a broad topic? One of the good definitions of innovation is: "to transform the novel ideas into commercial success.” In essence, innovation is, "intentional novelty bringing sustainable benefit."

     Take a Structural Approach to Manage Innovation

Take an Evolutionary Approach to Manage Innovation At the static industrial age, most organizations are focusing on improving margins by reducing the bottom-line cost rather than the top-line growth. For those organizations, innovations are still serendipitous. However, with increasing speed of changes and continuous digital disruptions, businesses today face fiery competitions and rapid digital shift either technologically or economically, innovation is no longer “nice to have,” but must have differentiated business capability. So, serendipity can be planned into innovation management. Forward-looking organizations take an evolutionary approach to manage innovation in a structural way.

The Next Cycle of Digital Innovation Management: Innovations in the digital era are coming at seemingly much fast space, with changes and potential disruptions, and therefore, innovation management also becomes more complex and dynamic. Often, in traditional organizations, corporate innovation stagnation is caused by overly rigid organizational structure, change inertia, too much focusing on incremental innovation and maintenance, and internal metrics discouraging the long-term innovation as well. How can organizations fine-tune their business elements, build a dynamic strategy to accelerate the next cycle of digital innovation management?.

Tuning Soft Elements in Innovation Management Creativity is, by nature, unique to each person, it is an innate process to create novel ideas. Innovation is to manage novel ideas and generating business value from them. There is no template which you can apply and suddenly have a creative workforce. It has to be done slowly, patiently, and individually. That is why so many companies won't do it. There are both hard elements such as framework, processes or tools as well as soft elements woven together to orchestrate an innovation symphony. Here are three soft elements in innovation management.

Three Innovation Management Approaches Digital era opens the new chapter of innovation. Today, at the hyperconnected digital ecosystem, innovation can happen anywhere, anytime, it expands both horizontally and vertically. Innovation comes in many flavors and there are many opportunities in an enterprise to do so, such as breakthrough innovation, evolutionary innovation, incremental innovation, systematic innovation, customer-centric innovation, open innovation, design-driven innovation, or management (leadership, culture, communication) innovation, etc. There is no one-size fits all formula to manage all sorts of innovations well. But innovation shouldn’t be just serendipitous as well. Here are three management approaches to improve the innovation management success rate in the digital era.

How to Walk the Innovation Talk Effortlessly: 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.

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