Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Three Innovation Clarity

Innovation is a question of ambition, imagination, and an important component of the business strategy. 

Innovation is a specific phenomenon and strategic imperative of the knowledge-based digital economy. 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. Innovation is often dependent on business insight because you can't change an organization without insight. How to demystify the puzzle of innovation and improve the success rate of innovation management?

Innovation is a question of ambition, imagination, and an important component of the business strategy: Innovation is to have a new perspective on things. Innovation is the process that transforms the novel idea or knowledge into business value. Innovation is the core human activities to change the environment for reaching high performance, for profit, for saving of resources, for the satisfaction of users, or for collective progress, etc. Innovation follows basic rules, which are adapted depending on the company's ambition and situation. Innovation is an important component of the business strategy. Thus, innovation leaders need to keep asking: What are your vision and mission? What is your strategic advantage? Are you an innovation leader or a follower? Are you pursuing the market that competes on price, quality, innovation, service, or other factors? Can you build core business competencies including innovation capability early enough to catch the wave before its crest breaks? How ambitiously are you for practicing innovation? Enterprises that are able to successfully innovate at a breakthrough level can increase the likelihood that they will dominate and prosper in new markets that they create. Companies have always had a flow of innovation, a flow sufficient for the needs of the company at that time. With the emerging trend and fast pace of changes today, what has happened is that the flow from "before" is no longer sufficient to address the business challenges of today. Hence, the importance of innovation has increased as the business has the pressure to get more and better innovation.

Innovation is about prioritization: The forward-looking view of the organization is to determine what the future needs to look like, what the digitalization must look like, and build a system that can "smell" the right idea at the right time and place. The exercise of deciding just what innovation is within each organization IS the single most critical activity of an innovation effort. With explosive information, shortened business life cycle, limited resources, and fierce competitions, it’s important to build business innovation strength and capabilities via prioritizing resources and managing risks. Prioritization is about managing constraints. Innovation managers need to check periodically: You can't do everything; so which business initiative will you pursue? What are your practices for the best use of resources, now? Prioritization brings transparency to the organization, creating internal competition among new ideas. It helps to focus on the strategy of the organization, which has huge benefits in terms of execution. Prioritization is also the process and method that one communicates either top down or bottom up and impact how a creative approach is received in an organization.

Innovation is the disciplined process: Innovation is a disciplined approach to discovering and building opportunities in creating new meaningful sources of value to targeted users. The main challenge organizations face when attempting to digitize and innovate is a consistent process through which they can make a seamless change or develop an idea. Good process design should encourage creativity by giving people space to be creative and including evaluation of creativity as part of that process. Organizations should ideally have a sustainable approach to innovation, with a structured process and a set of practical tools used to create or improve products/services/processes that deliver new value to customers or satisfy employees. Digital is the age of innovation, the robust process, and tools that enable an entity generating winning concepts on the consistent basis, is the prerequisite for sustaining advantage and growth. But keep in mind, an obsession with the rigidity of efficiency stunts the innovation creation process. Innovation is fluid and should not be straight-jacketed. Efficiency and short-term goal orientation often divert focus from innovation in general; and innovation, especially radical innovation will benefit in the longer range return on investment.

When we jump into the digital future of “VUCA” new normal –Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity, there are no other choices but being courageous and innovative to explore the new reality. Digital organizations should be able to capture the emerging trends, incubate great ideas, set the right priority, design robust, but not overly rigid processes, and build dynamic capabilities for idea creation, selection, prioritization, and overall innovation management discipline.


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