Sunday, October 10, 2021


Without innovation, organizations cannot thrive for the long term. Without structural innovation, companies cannot grow into innovation maturity.

Innovation is for reimagining the future of the organization; renewing business energy to disrupt, rather than being disrupted, and reinvent the company with differentiated advantage. In a fundamental view, innovation is a process and every process needs to be managed. Different types of innovation should be managed via tailored management processes. 

To debunk innovation serendipity, there’s introspective, retrospective, or technopective logic behind innovation, and there are alignment, alliance, and architecture behind innovation abundance and renewal.

Innovation alignment
: In many organizations, innovation is either serendipity or a lip service. The main barriers to innovation are silo, rigidity, inflexibility or bureaucracy, etc, they lack clear processes or cross-functional linkage to manage innovation successfully. Innovation alignment means you have to understand business problems thoroughly, maintain and fix any imbalance in key business elements such as people, process, technology, structures, methodologies, and cultures, etc. Innovation alignment requires continuous business optimization through a significant amount of positive communication whilst continuously looking for dynamic processes, tightening coordination and collaboration across the organization.

Innovation has a very low success rate. It actually needs to break down outdated rules or inflexible processes and take a systematic approach with robust processes to management innovation by enhancing cross-boundary communication, and dealing with conflicts and tensions smoothly. Align innovation initiatives, resources, talent, and integration/implementation plans with the strategic goals and objectives; improve innovation capacity management effectiveness by keeping process transparent, enforcing accountability at all levels, and focusing on long term innovation strategy management.

Innovation alliance: Innovation is complex and scalable in the hyperconnected business environment. It’s not so easy to count on one individual or one team to do innovation, more often than not, it’s a cross-boundary collaboration and needs strategic alliance to amplify its impact. Innovation partnership management is both art and science. Different shareholders get involved in various business activities and play significant roles in catalyzing innovation and exploring multiple pathways for unlocking business potential. It entails effective communication, partnership, collaboration, governance. Having close alliance and strong relationship management harnesses innovation competency and improves products/services reliability and adoption.

Innovation is an integral component of business strategy. Strategic alliance goes beyond conformity and order taking so that innovation management, capability management and people management work in harmony. The digital era upon us is about customer-centricity. Customers, employees, vendors, and varying stakeholders all play significant roles in innovation management. The customer should always be involved in development of intuitive products, services or delightful customer experience. Employees need to understand what the customer would say they want and what you found they actually want, that is when you can take innovative initiatives, really develop an experience that fits them and their needs or desires. Trustworthy vendors focus on innovation process optimization, customer-tailored on value deliveries, and there's always an opportunity for improvement. To expedite the business innovation cycle, those organizations that have innovative vendors or more mature alliances can be more responsive to changes, have better chances for the success of reinvention, and outperform their competitors.

Innovation architecture:
Innovation has been misunderstood as mysterious or unmanageable sometimes. What one calls innovation, another will say it is a trivial and self-evident step. What one person calls an act of genius, another will treat as unworkable insanity. So an innovation architecture framework provides structure to manage innovation life cycle: it can make a contribution, for better communication, governance or knowledge management. Today's innovation has broader scope including innovative process, business model, culture, communication, etc; or it can be categorized into incremental innovation and radical innovation. An architecture framework allows one to describe a target state and conform change in the enterprise towards this aspirational end-state, while at the same time addressing complexity, and technical remediation to enable innovation implementation effectiveness.

The world becomes more dynamic, innovation is for renewal; it is equivalent to sustainability and resilience for an increasing number of hyper-connected enterprises and industries, an architecture can support such innovation only if it undergoes a paradigm shift. Those who say "architecture rules constrain innovation" should be treated with caution. As a matter of fact, an architecture framework supports innovation by developing the structural capital and ensures that the enterprise is always fit for the purpose of achieving its vision, find the intersections between those incremental steps and disruptive leaps in business/technology innovation activities, and locate those innovation hotspots at which innovation can make significant impacts.

Without innovation, organizations cannot thrive for the long term. Without structural innovation, companies cannot grow into innovation maturity. In organizations which are huge and complex, innovation management is not a standardized process, alignment, alliance, architecture are all crucial elements to improve innovation success rate. The ultimate goal for innovation management is to create business value. Though both quick win and long-term return on investment for innovation are crucial, do not sacrifice the long-term viability of the portfolio for only short-term quick win..


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