Friday, August 24, 2018

Monitor the Pulse of Digital Innovation

There’s "no one size fit all" innovation practice, that makes innovation still be serendipity for many organizations.

As businesses get more cut-throat in the hyper-connected digital environment, innovation has to become part of DNA in an organization for delivering unique products or services, improving employee engagement and customer satisfaction. Innovation can occur anywhere in the organization, and frankly, it has to occur in every aspect of the organization. On the other hand, innovation is a means, not an end. If you don't know where you want to go, you are unlikely to get there. Monitoring the innovation pulse of your organization is to help the leadership team make an objective assessment of the business’s innovation capability, as well as how to make the proper adjustment for improving the success rate of innovation management.

Monitor the pulse of idea generation and management: The digital business has the open nature, it means that the business has access to the maximum number of potentially good ideas for building the innovative products, services, business models, and solutions. This means having a very good internal program and it also means sourcing a lot of ideas from external partners as well. As matter of fact, most organizations have too many ideas, but more is not always better. Thus, monitoring the pulse of idea generation and management is important because organizations can leverage the limited resources, and set the right criteria for selecting the best ideas and prioritizing accordingly to implement them and achieve the premium business value. Most good ideas emerge from interactions, not single individuals. Good ideas and expertise are correlated. There is nothing most wasteful than ignorance in action. Monitor where people who are contributing receive updates on the status of their ideas, enable the management to communicate their thoughts & guide the people. It helps to achieve the maximum visibility of ideators & contributors and showcase success stories to help keep up the motivation level. It’s also important to open up those ideas for collaboration and bring valuable inputs to help new idea development. Facilitate ease of idea evaluation, manage and monitor the performance of creative activities for ensuring idea flow as well as idea management effectiveness.

Monitor the pulse of inclusiveness and diversity: Many think there is no innovation without inclusiveness. The most advanced societies are diverse mixtures of peoples that can spark creativity and amplify innovation effect. Thus, to stimulate creativity, it’s important to monitor the pulse of inclusiveness and diversity, especially focus on cognitive diversity. Whether a group of people has an amplified creative ability depends on varying factors such as different intent, different talent traits, different working styles, and different outcomes. Digital organizations are flatter and information-abundant, with an “every individual as a stakeholder” culture, people are encouraged to think differently and do things differently. Thus, monitoring the pulse of inclusiveness and diversity help to foster integrity, trust, transparency, encourage candor, establish clear and shared goals, and nurture the culture of creativity. Make people feel more comfortable with the digital new normal - chaos, uncertainty, and ambiguity and create an environment that allows time for play and exploring. The latest digital technologies make collaboration and sharing possible at a large scale, those who acquire the culture of sharing and collaborating will simply outperform those who don’t.


Monitor the pulse of innovation risk management: Digital brings both unprecedented opportunities and risks to the businesses today. Every innovation pursuing has the risk in it. Therefore, it is important to set guidelines for monitoring innovation pulse and handling risk in a structural way. The primary focus of the risk monitoring and management would be to identify and control those risks that can be addressed through financing, market understanding, competitor analysis, identifying the space of opportunity, defining the scalability of the products/services, what timescale to allow before making a go/no-go decisions. Part of innovation is not knowing how and for what you will use the budget; and some innovation needs to be fed with resources while others get better by 'starving' them. From finance management perspective, consider what capital you are prepared to risk in making the innovation- never let this be so much that losing it will cripple your business if it cannot obtain the funding to continue to move towards fulfilling its core mission.

Nowadays, with the speed of changes in the digital era, innovation is no longer a “nice to have,” but a “must have” factor in business success. There’s "no one size fit all" innovation practice, that makes innovation still be serendipity for many organizations. Businesses just have to learn from experimenting, check the pulse of digital innovation, amplify the best practices, cultivate the culture of creativity, ride above the learning curve, and achieve the great business results.

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