Saturday, September 29, 2018

Depth + Breadth = Probability for Digital Innovation

The organizations can improve innovation success rate when they have clear leadership vision, knowledge and talent proficiency, as well as process clarity.

Innovation is how to transform novel ideas to achieve the business value. Innovation has to result in something which leads us to a better state than where we are today. Innovations in the digital era are coming at seemingly much fast space, with changes and potential disruptions. With well-educated digital workforce today, it's obvious that innovation is being pursued now more than ever. In the business setting, innovation is the development of a new combination of available resources, in a way that solves real-world problems in a more suitable way. Due to the fact that innovating in today’s digital world has become increasingly complex in nature, it’s important to gain an in-depth understanding of business issues as well as have the interdisciplinary knowledge to connect the dots for sparking innovation. Depth + Breadth = Probability for digital innovation.

Knowledge fuels innovation, but be cautious of the “knowledge trap”: Due to the hyper-complexity of modern businesses, knowledge is the foundation of doing innovation. The ability to innovate is ultimately dictated by the depth of understanding of the problem/issue to be resolved, or important jobs need to be done such as satisfying important customer needs, or reducing the unnecessary business complexity so the simplicity can shine through. Digital innovation not only has a broad scope but also has deep context. Especially the radical or breakthrough innovations are not something that everyone can accomplish. This means that to discover an opportunity, you should have previous knowledge in the field to be able to get recognized. You also need to take a structural approach to focus on translating from the innovation system to the business processes and develop a unique set of business capabilities to implement ideas successfully. Usually, this is something you do not accomplish overnight. Knowledge fuel innovation, however,  you shouldn't get trapped by knowledge, especially the outdated knowledge might stall innovation. Sometimes having too much knowledge about something can be a box that closes your mind to innovation in that area. To put precisely, “too much knowledge,” in itself is not an impediment to innovation, but fail to recognize how vastly ignorant you might become leads to arrogant, that would make you narrow-minded and get stuck in the old way to do things. So, it’s not about, how much knowledge you acquire, it’s about what impact that knowledge has on you, is it about fueling creativity or stifling imagination? Knowledge should help us understand how and what forces we are dealing with in the journey, being innovative is the state of mind.

Innovation management is about prioritization - good ideas over many ideas: With the exponential growth of information, many times, businesses today do not lack ideas, but lack good ideas, or lack the effective process to manage ideas. Innovation is about having new knowledge and new processes to transform creative ideas to realize its business value. A good system can “smell” the right ideas at the right time and place. Good ideas need to seed and mature. Good ideas and expertise are correlated. Most good ideas often emerge from interactions. Most organizations have too many ideas, but more is not always better. It’s important to set good criteria to evaluate ideas and have the right process to prioritize ideas accordingly. Innovation is a means, not an end. If you don’t know where you want to go, you are unlikely to get there. To cultivate a culture of innovation, besides managing ideas, it’s also important to recognize different innovation roles such as idea creators, idea facilitator, idea implementers, in order to build a highly innovative team with complementary skills to expedite innovation delivery and improve innovation management effectiveness.

Make the innovation process as visible, company-wide, as possible, and set the criteria to assess Idea Management effectiveness: Nowadays, innovation can happen anywhere, innovation is nurtured when people are given free space to be creative without overly rigid structures for 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. Thus, to improve the innovation success rate, it’s important to develop an idea management platform which has friendly tools with good accessibility, simple to use, and high flexibility to manage different discussions. There is transparency in follow-up a system of the innovation process from the idea up to the implementation. There is also the mechanism to collect feedback and gain management and peer recognition. Make the innovation process as visible, company-wide, as possible, but not too rigid. To reach the depth and breadth of innovation management, a corporation needs the processes and culture to sustain cross-boundary engagement to discover external ideas. And an internal culture is motivated to accept external ideas and rapidly integrate them into innovative internal ideas.

It is important to build a creative workplace which stimulates passion, encourages insightful cognitions, and inspire learning. You can feel the creative tension when you see it; when you sense the freedom to be creative; the harmony is achieved not based on compliance only but through idea sharing and profound understanding, and seamless collaboration. The organizations can improve innovation success rate when they have the clear vision, knowledge and talent proficiency, as well as process clarity to master both the art and science of innovation management and bring the high-performance business results.


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