Innovation often has a lot to do with internal connectivity and external dynamic circumstances.
The business needs innovation as a silver-lining. Compared to nimble startups, many well-established organizations are struggling with innovation because of command-control management styles, overly rigid business processes, legacy technologies, inflexible workforce, etc. To improve innovation effectiveness, set guidelines to ensure that innovation efforts are steered in the right direction.
An innovation strategy is not only a facilitator, but also an effective constraint to value-driven innovation:: There are lots of reasons to innovate, and numerous ways to innovate. The business management needs to leverage a good innovation strategy to facilitate innovation effort in a structural way, set constraints for resource usage and management focus by clarifying: What is the purpose and scope of innovation? Is it inward-facing or customer-focused? Is it disruptive innovation that will set the company up on the bolder, higher return on investment path, or is it the incremental innovation that improves products, services, or operational processes, so the aggregation of multiple smaller innovations can make significant enhancements to current business models and increase customer-satisfaction. It’s important for innovation management to adopt the coach or facilitation style, apply dynamic facilitation practices to build creative teams, generate fresh ideas and implement some of them effectively.
Strong leaders set good innovation principles, which are not about limiting people’s potential. It’s the strategic constraint and necessary frame to shape an innovative mindset and encourage people to be authentic, dare to make a difference. In innovation practice, the initial “fear of the unknown” morphed into the kind of low-level anxiety that stimulates creative change. Innovation management teams should mentally review the pros and cons, cause and effect of potential problems, short & long-term financial implications and the overall impact on the company, prior to suggesting an alternative approach.
Know what to keep stable and what to evolve: It takes time and generations of changes within a company to practice and build innovation as the business competency. To innovate structurally and eliminate risks, the management needs to break down silo mentality, take a wide look around at what’s going on inside & outside the organization at the business ecosystem scope; and how it might affect the organization or its ecosystem environment, identify opportunities and threats timely. They should understand what to keep stable, such as their core business model; they also need to understand what to evolve, develop a creative workforce to maintain business viability
The contemporary organization as a complex and dynamic system needs to be elaborated in a well-organized effort, take a structural approach to develop differentiated innovation competencies for accomplishing defined innovation management goals. There are two outline points of innovation management: the customers’ expectations and the company’s innovation requirements. The managers have to balance between those points and find a way to conciliate innovation objectives, do the tradeoffs, fine-tune business processes, and improve innovation management smoothly.
Catalyze innovation & build standards: Innovation is the most needed change, change is a challenge. If you try to turn it into an obligation, you will cause an equal and opposite reaction. It’s about how to strike the right balance of creating and standardizing, process and innovation. Information is growing exponentially, most companies across industries are being forced to become the information management business. Information is the most time-intensive piece of innovation management. It’s important to knit all critical business elements into the innovation capabilities of the company with IT as a linchpin, build a balanced innovation portfolio by deploying organizational assets in combination and facilitating managerial orchestration.
Consider the continuum between innovation and standardization, standardization is inside-the-box, innovation is outside-the-box. Organizations need both, and cannot exist without a healthy balance of both realistically. The key is to figure out how and when to apply the two in the most effective way. Increased standardization may facilitate innovation in an environment where the rate of focus and priority change exceeds the production/ROI cycle of deployment.
The digital era upon us is choice, innovation, people-centricity. Innovation often has a lot to do with internal connectivity and external dynamic circumstances. Organizations today have to make strategic choices all the time of where, when and how they innovate. The business leaders must learn how to deal with the innovation management paradox in varying circumstances, experiment with alternative ways to do things, accumulate invaluable feedback and lessons learned, to build a highly innovative organization.