Saturday, July 29, 2017

Three “I” Factors in Digital Innovation

Innovation happens only at the organization with the culture of learning to encourage idea sharing and risk-taking.

Digital era is the age of innovation. And digital innovation has the broader scope with the three phases: Discovery of a problem or new idea, designing a prototype solution and the ultimate delivery of a commercially astute outcome. Innovation is not serendipity, but a systematic process to transform novel ideas and achieve their business values. At the enterprise scope, innovation management should focus on building a healthy innovation portfolio to establish business competency. Here are three “I” factors in digital innovation.


Information: Innovation as the management discipline covers information management, knowledge management, and technology transfer, entrepreneurship and it is closely related to several other disciplines. Compared to the industrial age with the scarcity of information, digital is the era of information abundance. Information is one of the most time intensive pieces to the innovation puzzle because there are some critical pieces of information needed for accelerating idea validation such as facts about business ideas, definition, benefits and shortcomings, applications, and competing technologies, as well as managing innovation flow effectively. Digital organizations as the information hub can become the hotbed to nurture and incubate great ideas, And the insight abstracted from information not only fuel creativity but also make creativity more tangible and embed creativity with other thought processes to produce the new knowledge. The effective information management enables the digital organizations to build dynamic capability for idea creation, selection, prioritization and improve the success rate of innovation management.


Interaction: Innovation happens only at the organization with the culture of learning to encourage idea sharing and risk-taking; innovation happens when the service people interact with customers; innovation happens when the team’s creativity is inspired and motivated by the leaders, who see, understand and appreciate the merits of different people. And you can feel the creative tension when you see it when you sense the freedom to be creative, the harmony not via compliance only, but through idea sharing and thinking differently. It is important to build a creative workplace which stimulates passion, encourages insightful cognitions, and inspire learning agility. Innovation will happen when people are given free space to be creative without rigid structures and without holding them back. if the working environment with delightful interaction is stimulating and challenging, and then the brain can thrive from new stimulus to generate new ideas. Through theses healthy interactions, the innovation leaders can also identify their idea creators, idea facilitator, and idea implementers, and build a highly innovative team with complementary skills to expedite innovation delivery and improve innovation management effectiveness.


Implementation: From idea generation to innovation implementation - plan, do, check, act are not linear steps, but an iterative continuum in the digital era. If idea creation is more art than science, and then idea implementation is more science than art. The nature of how the implementation of the idea has to follow a logical path for the solution and provides a great opportunity for the digital organization to shine based on its scientific discipline. Digital innovation often evolves the full ecosystem or the methodological environment which covers the whole innovation management scenario, from processes in managing ideas or idea handling systems to idea implementation and promotion. Innovation Management is also situational, it should be managed top-down, bottom up or middle out accordingly based on the innovation flavors and management styles. A highly innovative organization can leverage the robust, but not overly rigid processes for idea filtering an implementation, to improve innovation management efficiency and maturity.


For cracking serendipity code to achieve digital innovation premium, organizations should build a healthy working environment to encourage idea brainstorming, leverage effective information/knowledge/process management, and take the scientific approach to implementing ideas. The key to success of innovation effort in an organization is to have the right people in place to manage information, enforce idea creation and interaction, and improve the success rate of innovation management.

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