There’s been much talk about innovation in the business community. Everyone wants a piece of the “holy grail”, yet not everyone is capable of delivering it. Recognising what stops organisations from redefining themselves or their industries is an important step in overcoming those barriers. One of the perspectives that I have …
There’s been much talk about innovation in the business community. Everyone wants a piece of the “holy grail”, yet not everyone is capable of delivering it. Recognising what stops organisations from redefining themselves or their industries is an important step in overcoming those barriers. One of the perspectives that I have researched in depth has to do with the inability of juggling existing business while developing innovative products, services, processes, business models, and so forth. The conclusions I drew from my research experience are multi-faceted.
Firstly, there is the very simple aspect of resource allocation. Those parts of the business that deliver profit as we speak – are more likely to receive sufficient funding or necessary human resources. New ventures, on the hand, tend to require extensive investment without immediate returns. This compels high degrees of commitment to such projects on part of key decision-makers, and a general can-do attitude on part of everyone else. Needless to say, this is incredibly hard to achieve.
This leads to another insight – decision-making as a fundamentally flawed process. We all rely on past experience in our decision about the future. We seek market research and forecasts, we go back in memory to understand what created success in the past – all this to minimise risk and maximise certainty of outcomes. Yet, future is nothing like we’ve seen. Especially in an ever-changing economy of flux today, we have tighter margins that resemble a guillotine over our heads. The more stress – the more sameness we create. As innovation leaders, we should be doing the exact opposite. Retaining control over the future by creating it! Innovation is just a word that describes this enormous opportunity.
So, if decision-making (or leadership) is so crucial – what can we do about it? Build your innovation awareness and implement it in your everyday life. Whether it’s when you’re cooking, or choosing brand design for your company’s new product, or whether you’re about to decide on a go-kill of a risky project with little return, but huge potential – every time stop and think. Have I done it before? If so, how can I do it differently this time? How can I avoid replicating and creating more sameness? And think of all the reasons why you should NOT rely on past experience? Starting with small changes you can enrich your daily routines, be happier and more creative. Transgressing this experience onto big-picture, business-driven innovations has the potential of impacting many more lives around you.