Each member of the MAIM Class of 2014 shares their individual experiences of innovation in the lead up to our Degree Show Exploiting Chaos: Innovation in the Making. Here, Shih-Yu ‘Ruby’ You describes insights from the prototyping stage, the early and continuous tests of trial and error that allow organisations to learn and subsequently increase the speed of innovation.
Creative tension is the disparity between vision and reality and it is the foundation of knowledge creation in a new business. This tension generates uncertainty, while also allowing for the opportunity for innovation. Uncertainty and opportunity are like the two sides of one coin. Therefore, the business challenge is to bring about creative energy that turns risky into possibility. Within this scope, I researched the acquisition of knowledge in the innovation processes, with a special interest in knowledge creation through the Lean startup process, and its influence on the business ecosystem.
During the research period, I worked with an innovation team in developing big data strategies for social media platforms. Observing how they approach product/market fits, I found that they continuously changed the management of their Research & Development and Business development approaches. More significantly, was the way the company identified opportunities and employed them to internal development processes. Afterwards, I found a correlation between the quality of user communities and a firm response degree. The quality of user communities is defined by the contribution of users that participate value creation to the organisations products. The response degree is the team’s ability to address user needs. I call this correlation the velocity of learning. It is a type of learning that drives organizations to achieve product/market fit of an innovation and encourages changes in organisational behaviours.
The velocity of learning is significant as it describes the situation of a firm’s knowledge creation process. The process requires a firm to Identify the right influences and manage its own ability to address users needs. This creative process unites the organisations members and encourages changes in collective working practices.
To facilitate the velocity of learning, an organisation must develop a comprehensive thinking strategy in managing the variables of a business. I suggest developing thinking strategy in two ways. One is to develop a habit of system thinking embedded within a company. This habit allows companies to reevaluate and optimise its own working practices in an increasingly chaotic business environment. The other is to employ member’s tacit knowledge to effectively address users needs. Studies have shown that tacit knowledge could dramatically enhance the speed of innovation development. Since verbal communication and text documents often have limitations in effective communication, tacit knowledge application in team management could bridge this limitation.
To learn more about knowledge creation and Ruby’s research please join us at the upcoming MA Innovation Management Degree Show Exploiting Chaos: Innovation in the Making from 18-22 June.