Monday, December 7, 2020

Innovative Idealization & Implementation

The digital business has an open nature, it means that the business has access to the maximum number of potentially good ideas for building innovative products, services, business models, and solutions. 

At the dawn of the digital era, the workforce today is hyper-connected and diverse in many ways, sharing a natural affinity for new perspectives, fresh ideas, and collective insight. The original germ of a creative idea often, if not always, arrives at the interaction of ideas from different domains of thought and experience, or information without boundary. 

For cracking serendipity code of idealization & implementations and achieving innovation premium, organizations should build a healthy working environment to encourage idea brainstorming, knowledge sharing, leverage effective information/knowledge/process management, clarify the following key issues, and take the scientific approach to innovation management. 

Culture - do you share: An innovative organization builds up a momentum that draws creative contributions from the participants that they did not previously conceive or understood they were capable of. Innovation happens when the team’s creativity is inspired and motivated by the leaders, who see, understand and appreciate the merits of different people and proactively cultivate a culture of sharing. Highly creative teams are built on a high level of self-motivation which cannot be bought. Innovation leaders are able to manage ideas effectively by asking good questions such as, what can interact with ideas, and what parameters the innovative ideas might have? Who else is using such new ideas? Who are the industry players? You also learn what the trend of such new ideas is, etc. If the working environment with delightful interaction is stimulating and challenging, employees should think of knowledge/idea sharing as something they gain, rather than lose, because ideas are built on other ideas and that idea combination is a powerful technique, and the chain of ideas keeps the organization energetic and people engaged.

Real-time sharing and anticipation, transparency, active listening, and two-way trust are crucial ingredients in building a creative team and running a highly innovative organization. Naturally, culture is hugely important in attracting the right employees and catalyzing innovations. It’s about rejuvenating a “culture of innovation" which incorporates multiple and diverse components to encourage idea sharing and risk-taking. It’s about people brainstorming together to reinvent a highly innovative business through collective creativity and effort. Having a big amount of ideas is a good thing as long as you try to get the best attributes of the ones you like and combine them into solid ideas which can be implemented and come up with breakthrough innovations.

Language - do you understand each other? Many organizations live in silos, people from different departments usually have different dialects, perspectives and some of them perhaps don't realize how extremely important a quantitative model is. It is important to speak the common business language, facilitate the digital dialogues to enhance cross-functional business coordination, idea sharing, and develop knowledge and expertise to spark fresh ideas and manage innovation. Innovation happens at the intersection of people and technology, business and customers. It’s also important to recognize different innovation roles such as idea creators, idea facilitator, idea implementers, facilitate stimulated dialogues and build a highly innovative team with complementary skills to expedite innovation delivery and improve innovation management effectiveness.

From a business ecosystem perspective, listen to your clients, stakeholders, vendors, partners, and staff, questioning/challenging long-held beliefs or “we always do things like that” mentality is hard work and is often met with resistance, but, isn't that how innovation comes about? Harnessing the different experiences, perspectives and ideas of people from across multiple generations have enormous potential for idea generation and implementation. Idea flow can be streamlined by visa enforcing cross-functional communication, using common business language for harnessing understanding, and taking incentives to encourage sharing. Organizations, managers and team leaders that leverage generational diversity will be more successful to manage innovation teams, come up with abundance of ideas and implement them smoothly.

Incentives - do I want to share with you? All too often many organizations perhaps manage a few innovation projects successfully, but they lack the systematic approach to manage resources, bridge gaps, or manage talent to build innovation as a unique competency. There is an underlying assumption that ideation can be done if you invest more. However, business innovation success is not always proportional to how much money you invest in. The best leaders know what their people need and when they need it. If everyone understands the part they play in achieving the company goals, and they are provided the right kind of incentives, in most part, people will do the right things and metrics/checkpoints can ensure proper innovation management and adjust to the right speed.

To build culture of innovation and to shape the business level of innovation capability, innovators of the highest order will get intrinsic rewards from the process but still need validation. The incentives will increase the willingness of employees to give you those ideas. Regular feedback is a must and incentives should be comparable to expectation set and engage more people as advocates in building the momentum. The failures should not be rewarded, but they should be understood and not penalized. And surely the risk-taking also should be supported - morally at least. It doesn't mean you should reward "failure" as such; but to inspire the culture of innovation.

Prioritization: Do I even pay attention to ideas from others?
Can we set the right priority to implement the best ideas? Organization’s have limited resources and time, select the ideas which can have a better opportunity to implement and maximize business value. Evaluate ideas by asking "Is this a good idea?" and "Can we do it?" Prioritize ideas by asking "Is this the best use of our resources, now?" Prioritization is about managing constraints - you can't do everything; so which projects will you do? The basic goal of Idea Evaluation should be to quickly and thoughtfully weed out potential projects that are not a good fit for your particular business, so you can focus on the good ideas and commercialize its potential business values.

Prioritization is the process and method that you communicates either top down or bottom up and impact how a creative approach, idea, or project is received in an organization. That focus of setting prioritization must be apparent throughout the organization. It aids in removing silo thinking and energizes the organization, to be aware of the technical considerations required to deliver the innovation outcomes. It’s important to build a balanced innovation portfolio with the right mix of incremental innovation and breakthrough innovation. If companies don't make room in the prioritization process for projects that have significant risks but also potentially significant upside results, it can, in fact, drive creative thinkers out of an organization. With a focus and the right prioritization skills, success will be contingent upon culture, the state of the business, leadership, communication, team membership (internal and external) with the overall commitment to the business goal.

Skills - can you outline your idea in a way I can follow? Do we have the right skills to manage innovation?
An essential aspect of creativity, both at the individual or group level, is the ability to challenge assumptions or beliefs, to discover the new path, and experiment with the better way to do things. Innovation is change, the human element of change entails a people-centric approach to innovation management style. Innovative development team members exhibit good skills and qualities that make them better able to generate or discover good ideas, have the judgment to know what’s important, and have the leadership ability to deliver value added results.

You need to be able to build, maintain, and engage internal and external social networks to provide new sources of insights, experiences, and ideas that drive value for the company. The owners or stewards of idea management are ‘corporate intrapreneurs’ who can recognize innovative ideas, fight for resources and political cover, and connect ideas and teams together, transform problems and opportunities into tangible and value-creating ideas to build solid business values. They are also problem-solvers who have to create, manage, and exploit innovation networks and business ecosystem to deliver innovative results and achieving innovation excellence.

The digital business has an open nature, it means that the business has access to the maximum number of potentially good ideas for building innovative products, services, business models, and solutions. From innovation planning to resource allocation and funding, to program management, to rewards and recognition, the comprehensive innovation management with strong leadership, logical scenario, platform support, the right skills, and on-site program management can help an organization build a strong innovation competency.


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