Saturday, September 11, 2021

Innovators & innovations

Specialized generalists innovators can practice critical thinking and creative thinking, connect dots seamlessly, to reinvent their company above the learning curve, recharge creative energy and unlock the full collective potential.

People are always the most critical business asset and success factors of long-term organizational growth. To survive and thrive in today’s business dynamic, talented employees should keep learning, build their professional competencies; they need to become a niche player who can integrate their multi-capabilities into core competencies; they can solve problems innovatively by using their talent effectively; they are self-driven and self-disciplined to ride above learning curves, aligning their career goals and life journey seamlessly for self-actualization.

 In the organizational setting, people engagement and empowerment are important to build workforce competency. The continuous talent recognition and development approach make organizations more innovative, responsive, and adaptive as the markets change. Here are three types of innovators who are forethoughtful to plan the future; focus on thinking-learning-creating; open to new perspectives and nimble to change.

Visionary value-creator: "Vision" is about a destination. Visionaries are optimistic realists to discover an unfolded future with fresh eyes. Adding value requires vision. They embody vitality, will, imagination, hope and sense of energy. Without vision, innovation is a sidewalk, or perhaps a serendipity. But vision is not static, it is adjustable for adapting to an increasing pace of changes. A visionary value-creator has a unique skill with a combination of vision and innovation; vision keeps them focused, knows where their destination is, but innovation allows them to take an alternative path for capturing fresh scenes, rather than following others’ footprint to do the same thing repetitively. Vision is not a mirage; knowledge, or more accurately insight, is an important component in shaping a clear vision based on information driven analysis, lessons learned, feedback-feedforward cycle.

The organization of consciousness does not require the random spreading of signals ubiquitously but the highly constrained and precise selection, condensation, summation, emphasis, and direction of information to threshold an intelligent business. With a vision in mind, organizations can generate business models of tomorrow, instrument transformative changes and instruct their actions and behaviors for achieving higher-than expected results. The vision thing needs to be high enough for the organizations to test their limit; but practical enough for motivating staff to reach it. Thus, interdisciplinary visionaries are in strong demand, to help their organizations connect multiple dots such as vision-strategy-execution; vision-innovation; vision-change/talent/culture management, etc, in brilliantly reimagining the future of the company while architecting the coherent abilities to succeeding in operations and business models of today.

Versatile concentrator: In face of continuous disruptions and changes, Either individually or organizationally, linear skills and capabilities are often not sufficient to solve many complex problems today. Professional versatility is not a set of unrelated skills, but onion-like cohesive abilities to have a focus for doing certain complex activities to achieve strategic goals. With overwhelming growth of information and frequent distractions, versatile concentrators are the new breed of high professionals who can stay focused, develop their talent, have their own filters to gain quality information; have discernment to make sound judgement about people and situations, and have great time management to get things done. They can enhance a healthy cycle of learning-share-doing-improving; and they are able to combine and integrate different professional capabilities to a unique set of core competencies.

Every professional has their own journey of growth either personally or professionally based on their own perception, talent, life experience, training, and refinement. Being versatile means you are open to discover and develop new talent, being concentrated implies autonomy and self management skill. Dedicated people have the right dose of gravitas, with the intention to discover who they are, where they are going to be, whatever the state of awareness they arrive at, there is always a deeper state of superconsciousness - connecting your deep mind and heart desire and keep your energy flow frictionlessly. People have the opportunity to continue learning and sharing. Having enriched knowledge or versatile talent is foundational to explore different dimensions in the professional journey, to help consciously create the authentic impact you choose.

Creative integrator: All forward-thinking companies declare they are in the information business and focus on innovation. Sometimes, the opposite is true; for many, innovation is lip service; information quality is compromised and becomes the very liability that makes their organization vulnerable and even causes their business to fail unexpectedly. Nowadays there are so many things going on in the enterprise, silos block the way for them to see the whole truth; the pervasive“busyness” prevents the management from spending time on putting things together, seamlessly. Thus, an innovation role such as a creative integrator is important to help business identify both tangible and intangible elements that need to be knitted into the unique innovation competency; minimize the organization's effort to re-invent the wheel all the time; clarify innovation logic vertically from concept to idea to implementation; amplify cross-boundary innovation effect; and help nurture an enriched innovation ecosystem.

An open innovation platform enables companies to integrate critical components of innovation and supports all sorts of innovation efforts to maximize business potential. A creative integrator has a “skeptical” mind to scrutinize all crucial components in an effective innovation environment or ecosystem such as innovation leadership, culture, capability, practices, tools, recognition system measurements, risk control, etc. By integrating, they are creating a case making all those things work smoothly to implement innovation in a consistent manner. A creative integrator demonstrates strategic thinking abilities to explore emerging trends and risks, discover the organizational strength that can be transformed into a innovation capability if it aligns with the strategic direction; set up priorities, divest non-core capabilities, free up resources that can be used to deepen core innovation capabilities in order to build sustainable innovation competency for the long run.

Organizations today need to be innovative in almost every perspective, and there are many ways to do innovation. The interdisciplinary innovators above are either idea generators or innovation navigators /implementers or both; they are specialized generalists who can practice critical thinking and creative thinking, connect dots seamlessly, to reinvent their company above the change curve, recharge creative energy in their company, and unlock the full collective potential.


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