Thursday, September 13, 2018

Apply Different Approaches to Broaden the “Innovation Scope”

The high-performing digital organizations today already embrace innovation at the heart of everything they do and would run it throughout the overall business management.

Innovation is an experimenting, exploration, production, adoption, assimilation, and exploitation of value-added novelty in business, economic and social spheres. Innovation is the business’s unique capability to gain a competitive advantage in the face of fierce competitions and business dynamic today. There are many ways to differentiate and, therefore, there are many ways to pursue innovation. Here are three perspectives of broadening the “innovation scope” of the digital organization.

The need-based innovation: People-centricity is an important characteristic of the digital era. Thus, people and consumers' experience are at the center of everything you do. The “need” based innovation focuses on meeting important customer needs, ensure that the results of an innovative approach will have a positive impact on clients, partners, end users, and the marketplace. Value enhancement for the user is important to evaluate innovation. It’s about knowing that this enhancement might be a matter of perception, and increasing value might be reached by alternative ways. In practice, the need-based innovation relies more heavily on customer observation, they develop new products and services based on superior end-user understanding. The goal is to seek out both articulated and unarticulated customer needs and then to try to get their new products to market first. Methodologically, the need-based innovation depends more on customer focus group and “idea workout” sessions, leverage the mechanisms that can provide deep insights into the end-users of the products, make a point of engaging customers directly to generate new ideas. To pollinate creative ideas, the need-based innovation management applies the internal network at the higher rate for involving innovation champions, cross-functional staffing, user communities for collecting feedback, co-generating fresh ideas, and converting ideas to implementable business initiatives. The need-based innovation approach offers the greatest potential for superior business performance in the long term.

The principle-based innovation: The definition of innovation is simple - to gain benefit by doing something different. Innovation follows fundamental principles or basic rules, which are adapted depending on the company's situation and ambition. Generally speaking, innovation management needs to establish the clear and shared business goals and set the good principles to follow. The principle to foster creativity is to enforce integrity, trust, and transparency; encourage curiosity and allow autonomy, let people choose how and on what they work. Make people feel more comfortable with chaos, uncertainty, and ambiguity. That means the principle-based innovation is not about setting the restrict rules for stifling creativity; it’s about framing the innovation management effort in order to stay focus and improve the success rate of innovation. It’s about how the management can strike the right balance between increasing productivity and encouraging creativity; between setting the standard and letting “out-of-the-box” thinking flow. Innovation is the most wanted change. You cannot do innovation management successfully without grounding in change management or following a set of change management principles and having the top management sponsorship or people-buy-in; from divergence to convergence; in the final phase of innovation management, where the idea is evaluated, applied, adapted, and optimized, Change Management is essential so that individuals and organizations can benefit from the value of innovation.

The system-based (scientific) innovation: Creativity is novel and artistic; but at the organizational level, innovation is more science than art. What defines science from chance is the ability to repeat a process with the same resultant solution every time. The science is "the ability to produce solutions in a problem domain repeatedly." The core principle of the system-based innovation is the scientific method, leverage the design of experiment type approaches where a portfolio of options are pursued and knowing there will be pruning as new facts emerge. While organizations can innovate without clear systems of innovation, the ability to achieve sustained innovation results probably does require at least some degree of a 'hard-wired' innovation system with multidisciplinary knowledge such as the economy, psychology, sociology, and law, not speaking about disciplines that are related to technologies implemented by the particular innovation. Theoretical treatment of the discipline may give rise to a science. The bulk of data, methods, and approaches involved as well as the complexity of processes encountered speaks in favor of the scientific approach. Priority, process, and resource framework can be a tool for managing innovation effectively. Make innovation processes as visible and company-wide as possible; organizations can also reach the high level of the business maturity by relying less on silo functions, more on cross-functional collaboration and continuous improvement.

The high-performing digital organizations today already embrace innovation at the heart of everything they do and would run it throughout the overall business strategy. At the enterprise level, innovation management should continue to leverage different approaches for broadening the “innovation scope” and focus on building a healthy innovation portfolio to establish differentiated business competency.


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