Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Minding Innovation Gaps in the BoardRoom

The board’s innovation management oversight helps to de-risk the introduction of innovation into the marketplace and tie innovations and the innovative culture to the organization's strategy. 

With today's emphasis on innovation per se and its importance to corporate survival, it is common knowledge that innovation management requires the highest risk-taking at a strategic value chain; including organization, investments, and assets. The board can contribute to both innovation management and management innovation. Innovation governance at the board level is critical to improving the overall innovation management success.

Bridging innovation gaps: Innovation becomes simply “creating value by solving simple or complex problems.” From the boardroom to the front line, innovation should be the focal point to keep the business ahead of the competition. Being innovating is the state of mind to think and do things from a new angle, discover alternative solutions, study the choices and select the best possible implementable way for solving either old or emergent business problems. The commitment from the top is very important for any change or innovation to be successful. Corporate board as one of the critical leadership pillars should set the tone for practicing open-minded leadership, encouraging innovation and advocating changes, create the space for dialogue and debate about digital innovation, mind innovation strategy gaps, develop a common understanding of it, and create the necessity and motivate for innovation blossom. From the board composition perspective, the heterogeneous team with the cognitive difference is better positioned to criticize the innovation strategy and bridge innovation gaps smoothly.

Identifying Innovation bottleneck: Innovation is not serendipity. Innovation is about transforming the novel ideas to achieve its business values. A company has finite resources to apply to get the best yield possible to meet a stakeholder expectation. Thus, innovation needs to be a hot topic in digital boardroom by setting the guidelines for both innovation management and management innovation. They can provide insight on when to break the outdated rules, when to bend the rules, and when to set new rules. There are different innovation bottlenecks such as idea management bottleneck, process bottleneck, resource bottleneck, innovation execution bottleneck, or talent bottleneck, etc. The board’s oversight of innovation management helps to criticize innovation strategy which is an integral component of the business strategy, helps the management identify innovation management bottlenecks, de-bureaucratize process, derisk innovation implementation, and scale innovation effect systematically.

Overseeing innovation management and management innovation: Innovation Management System includes policies, structure, and program that innovation managers can use to drive innovation. Management innovation could change the way managers do what they do to improve the organizational capability to innovate. Management innovation includes multiple elements such as communication innovation, culture innovation, process innovation, etc. Innovation is simply too important to delegate to the management without the board oversight. The board’s innovation management oversight helps to de-risk the introduction of innovation into the marketplace, establish clear proofs-of-concept before making the investment to launch and scale, tie innovations and the innovative culture to the organization's strategy and ensures that innovations will be supported by management and by all stakeholders. Monitoring innovation management performance in the boardroom is also critical to improving the innovation management success rate.

Today’s digital board simply just can’t stand still. Bridging from top-down and bottom-up become a welcomed challenge and the boards can make a significant contribution to set the stage for innovation. The highly innovative board leadership team should well mix the variety of innovator personas such as movers and shakers, thought leaders, critical thinkers, problem-framers, navigators or evaluators, etc, to provide invaluable input to management and make a significant contribution to improving the organizational innovation maturity.


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