Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Inquisitiveness & Innovation

 The art of questioning is to spur creativity; the science of questioning is to frame structural innovation management in pursuit of better solutions.

As we steadily move into the deep digital reality with continuous disruptions and competitions, innovation is a differentiated business competency to build long term organizational advantage. People who innovate are not afraid to challenge conventional understanding, they have the unlimited curiosity to ask questions, explore alternative ways to do things. 

In the digital era of information abundance and fast pace of changes, inquisitiveness is one of the characteristics of effective leaders and professionals to brainstorm fresh ideas, encourage independent thinking, clarify process logic, integrate the art and science of innovation management.

Being innovative is a state of mind with inquisitiveness, creativity, courage, risk intelligence: For every digital leader or professional today, there is time to ask, and there is time to answer. Asking questions means we are still curious, willing to learn, brainstorm to spur great ideas, share fresh insight. Being innovative means you need to get used to stepping outside the old box to unfamiliar territory, discover and explore your own path to solve problems in alternative ways.

Either individually or collectively, the essential to questioning stimulates the creative sides of our mind in order to find answers- not one, but many, with enriched choices to get the work done creatively. The art of questioning is to ignite innovative thinking, the science of questioning is to collect information, clarify logic and enhance practices-lessons learned cycle for continuous improvement. An open ended question such as “why-not,” “what if”; bring us courage to think alternatively and reimagine the ways to do things differently.

It is the time to bridge the gaps between questioning and answering in innovation management:
It takes courage and humility for people to ask questions; it takes insight and wisdom to ask the right questions for spurring fresh ideas. The goal is to break down “we always do things like that” mentality and discover innovative ways to do things. To build a highly innovative organization, it’s important to make sure that your company is open minded to embrace diverse perspectives, and prepare for multiple innovation scenarios.

The highly competitive innovative teams consist of people having complementary cognitive abilities, professional competency to bridge the gaps between questioning and answering, idea generation and implementation, management and governance. They would complement each other’s thought processes for bringing up various perspectives and amplify the collective human capabilities. It is important to involve not only putting different pieces of innovation together but also blending them in such a way that generates novel ideas and spur innovation. You could consider all innovations hybridized in that sense and evolve ecosystem perspectives.

The effective innovation manager should ask insightful questions to navigate through the innovation process:
Organizations need to take systematic steps in innovation management. Innovation management asks insightful questions to clarify goals and processes: Do we really need innovation, who will be held responsible for implementing innovation, what will be the cost, time, risk, and ROI etc. By clarifying important ingredients of innovation and tuning the robust processes, systems, and tools, the organization can generate winning concepts for innovation management on a consistent basis.

Overly rigid processes stifle innovation, silos limit knowledge and idea flows. It takes interdisciplinary knowledge and cross-functional communication and collaboration to manage innovation. The leader simply coaches the team along the way, including asking more questions as necessary. It means to make a radical shift from a silo and linear classic change management practices to holistic innovation management discipline.

The art of questioning is to spur creativity; the science of questioning is to frame structural innovation management in pursuit of better solutions. Good questions spark imagination, provoke comprehensive answers. With the right innovation appetite, attitude, and aptitude, the organization is on the right track of developing innovation as a business-wide competency to produce high performance results.


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