Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Three Digital Innovation Practices

 At the heart of innovation is a life cycle of idea generation, interaction, learning and selection. 

Digital is the age of innovation. Innovation is a management process, not just serendipitous magic. At today's modern organizations, variety, complexity, diversification, and hyper-connectivity, etc, are the characteristics of the digital innovation ecosystem. Digital innovation has a broader spectrum and enriched context. Here are three digital innovation practices.

Diversify the diversity: Diversity is the hot bed to spark creativity. Focusing on diversity forces you to confront new ideas or embrace new concepts. Thus, it’s best to bring a group of people together with cognitive differences such as varying background, complementary experiences, unique competencies, cultural perspectives, and different personalities, etc, in order to stimulate creativity. Each person has a defined cognitive threshold, communicating an idea to others raises the total cognitive threshold.

Diversifying the diversity means to embrace the multidimensional hyper-diversity such as cognitive diversity, creative diversity, skill diversity, cultural diversity, and personality diversity, etc, The more people are brought into innovation dialogues, the more innovative that communication and collaboration can turn out to be. Thoughtful candor' is offering a different way of thinking about a situation or problem that moves the conversation forward. Companies will become more open to diverse opinions, listen to customers, be confident to take the path perhaps no one ever take before, and become more resilient to failure.

Foster collaboration across functions, industries or geographical locations to catalyze innovation: Due to the increasing complexity, exponential growth of information, rapid changes and nonlinearity, it’s important to note that business innovation is rarely an individual action, rather, it’s a team effort. The most effective digital workplace is one in which collaboration and sharing are the norms. Because there is more flow of creative ideas, the innovation pie actually gets bigger.

Cross-silo communication and collaboration are crucial to catalyze innovation and build dynamic digital competencies. The hyperconnected digital ecosystem is ever-evolving, it is easy to work alone and take the attitude of competition, but it is much more difficult to collaborate with different parties even competitors. The evolution of innovation only exists in open environments or the ecosystem. Thus, digital organizations need to awaken the ecosystem consciousness, try to digitally connect key resources/assets in their vicinity/context, draw together mutually supportive organizations from multiple industries, seek to discover ideas collectively and create fresh ideas or differentiated value they could not reach alone.

Maximize opportunities and minimize risks: Because innovation success depends on many factors such as talent, processes, resources, etc, Innovation Management overall has very high failure rate. Risk management, which needs to be an integral component of innovation management, would be to identify and manage risks that can be addressed, identify the space of opportunity, defining the scalability of the products/services, enforcing market understanding, doing competitor analysis, and improving decision maturity. 

To maximize opportunity and minimize risks, an effective innovation risk management platform enables the management staying focus, leverage the applicable innovation processes for managing risks in a structural way. Innovation leaders need to have the right dose of risk appetite and the high level of risk intelligence in order to take an interdisciplinary approach to manage innovation effectively and run a highly innovative business ultimately. In evolutionary terms, from risk control to risk management to risk intelligence, that shift is crucial to improve innovation success rate.

Innovation is a specific phenomenon and strategic imperative of the knowledge-based digital economy. Nowadays innovation can occur anywhere in the organization, and frankly, it has to occur in every aspect of the organization. At the heart of innovation is a life cycle of idea generation, interaction, learning and selection. It’s important to develop the best and next practices to fuel innovation and take a holistic approach to develop business-wide innovation capabilities.


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