Monday, May 17, 2021

Breakthrough Mindsets

Innovation management needs to accomplish the goals through their people who are the ones with breakthrough minds and a set of core professional competency.

Due to the fact that innovating in today’s digital world with “VUCA” reality has become increasingly complex in nature. The conventional mind which is bound by its beliefs and conventional wisdom often has a negative connotation about sticking to outdated concepts, traditions, cultures, or the old ways to do things. It perhaps works in the considerably static industrial age, but it’s more often than not outdated in the ever-evolving digital business dynamic. 

Either for running a contemporary organization or living a modern life, it is important to appreciate those breakthrough mindsets such as intrapreneurs, engineers, designers, scientists’ thinking which create conditions so that the creative potential can manifest, innovative ideas can be incubated, to make innovation blossom.

Intrapreneur’s mindsets: Businesses today face fiery competition and rapid digital shift either technologically or economically. Many organizations today do not lack ideas, but lack good, or great-breakthrough ideas, or lack the effective process to manage ideas. Innovation is about having fresh knowledge and new processes to transform creative ideas to realize its business value. Intrapreneur-leaders deploy new ideas, new processes, new adventures to adapt to change. They should ponder all sorts of critical issues, bringing optimism to approach breakthrough innovation. They are the owners or stewards of idea management or innovative champions, break down organizational bureaucracy, idea bottleneck, linear knowledge box, climb knowledge hierarchy, transform problems and opportunities into tangible and value-creating ideas to build solid business values and improve innovation success rate.

Highly innovative organizations implement ideas and practice intrapreneurship via building dynamic capabilities and developing organizational advantage. Because innovation breakthroughs and digital transformations are not something every business can accomplish, you have to systematically develop and sharpen those abilities which cannot be built overnight. Good intrapreneur-leaders explain the big “whys” clearly, to articulate the strategic rationale behind the venture, identify capability gaps in the context of future need, or capability dependency, and be sufficiently aware of the "general condition" of the various capabilities. As more often than not, intrapreneurship is about balancing innovation with other organizational priorities, it presents a possibly even greater challenge and reward. High return is usually proportionate to high risks. Good intrapreneur-leaders are systematic and good at calculating the risk. The measure of accountability implies resilience which is determined not by whether an individual or a team makes a mistake or not, but on how quickly they can recover so that customers, teammates, and others aren't negatively affected by the breakdown.

Designers’ mindset: Design Thinking is all about putting design-led thinking into a strategy by thinking about how important is contextual research and prototyping in helping think strategically. Designers may speak in different languages but creativity is the common clue to keep them shining through as design is both a mentality and attitude. Design thinking is not just about art or graphical design, it’s the process of empathy building, it has a broader scope and you need to think about the brand, breakthrough ideas, long-term business positioning, and rigorous user understanding. The designer’s job in the business is to listen intently, help the organization make the intuitive and the best possible solution. It’s important to clarify design related communications and goals, make sure they are clear and unambiguous with a clear sense of purpose and where they want to be within a given timeframe.

In practice, the design-led process just gives you a framework, having a good toolbox allows you to select the right wrench in which the emotional connections are what make it work. If you cannot find a way of connecting with customers at an emotional level, then you are not connecting with them profoundly. Therefore, always be careful about examining the potential points of engagement, rather than jumping to the “fixing” mentality. To build a design-driven digital organization, you need to gain customer empathy, understand the company’s long-term goals, business identity or brand, and the industry realities such as people centricity, competition or marketing position, etc. The important thing is to identify the common design principles and the shared body of knowledge that will help to raise design thinking from an inwardly focused semantic argument to the outward customer-centric practices, and truly recognized innovation management principle and discipline.

Scientist’s mindset: In every stage of human evolution in modern society, science is one of the key ingredients of breakthrough, but perhaps not the only one. Breakthrough innovation is often disruptive and will change your organization or even the industry in many fields. Innovation is the science in the mind of the scientist; a scientific angle makes people objective, practice induction & deduction techniques to find patterns behind breakthroughs, use resources smartly, and drive tangible results. As we enter into a technology-centered modern world, science, engineering and the application of technology will become a fundamental skill to implement innovation and make things work efficiently. The scientific discipline behind innovation practices evolves the full lifecycle of research-define-design-prototype-iterate-test. It’s the ability to produce innovative solutions in a problem domain repeatedly and efficiently

Scientifically, innovation is the mechanism through which you grow and evolve something to something great. Science = "At" & "How" - that defines science from chance is the ability to repeat a process with the same resultant solution every time, through the application of known facts. Science is created whenever people start applying the scientific method of observing, experimenting, creating hypotheses, and proving or disproving those hypotheses, retrospectives, etc. These are exactly the processes that disruptive innovators use. The scientific part of innovation management helps to set policies, guidelines, structures, and methods to achieve business efficiency. That makes innovation less as serendipity, but more as a scientific discipline.

Innovation management needs to accomplish the goals through their people who are the ones with breakthrough minds and a set of core professional competency. Therefore, collectively, employee engagement and empowerment is important to build competitive business advantage. The organization with the culture of learning and empowerment can drive creative energy flow, unleash their potential, take calculated risks, and will reap the benefits of high performance results.


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