In the previous two whitepapers of this series we examined both the benefits of innovation training and areas of innovation skills that mid-to-junior level employees can be taught. In this installment we will address an important topic that is often missing from innovation training / education programs: How to build effective employee networks that support employees who have been trained with new innovation skills.
In its research report “CEO Challenge 2014, ” The Conference Board lists the ten most important challenges facing CEOs in 2014. Innovation ranks N°3 in this survey of 1,020 responses, on a par with operational excellence. Innovation was the N°1 issue in 2012, and in 2014 it is still the N°1 challenge in China. This article (in a series of seven) looks at the theme of innovation governance from a top management angle.
The first whitepaper in this series focused on the benefits generated from training employees in innovation skills. A natural extension of that approach is to now focus on what innovation training really means to an organization. In other words, what actually is innovation training, and more importantly, can innovation be learnt?
Many successful innovation programs are extending their offerings to include training efforts for employees around the skills of innovation. This whitepaper (the first in a series of four) examines the benefits of such an approach for companies, innovation program leaders, and the employees who participate.
Many organizations in both the public and private sectors suffer from a corporate culture which is risk averse and fearful of failure. People are reluctant to try new things or even to suggest innovations. They remember old stories about colleagues being punished for experiments that failed. They have learnt that it is safest to keep a low profile and focus on standard operating procedures. Mean while the executive committee is desperately trying to think of ways to make the outfit more agile and innovative.
There would be few organisations that did not cite innovation as a desirable quality in their workforce, whether as part of the whole organisational culture, or critical in one area. Over the past five years, with businesses being buffeted by economic storms, finding sources of innovation can be the difference between success and failure.
This paper is a follow-up to my previous article, “The Eastern Way: How Chinese Philosophy can Power Innovation in Business Today” (June 18, 2012). The present article defines the concept of intensity in innovation, using Eastern Zen philosophy, in a way that can be useful for business while avoiding too much focus on personality traits. Zen intensity in innovation stresses intuition, sensory and physical experience/re-experience, artistry, the integration of conflicting ideas, and the avoidance of premature choices. Examples are cited from the career of the late Zen enthusiast, Steve Jobs. Regarding the use of time, the Zen approach to intensity implies a full and sustained engagement of all creative processes, not simply a rapid time to project completion.
Is your company too bogged down in meetings, emails, policies, and procedures, leaving little time for big-picture thinking and innovation? Then you need to read Lisa Bodell’s book, Kill the Company: End the Status Quo, Start an Innovation Revolution.
“If Open Innovation is not seen as a long term capability building exercise then it will fail”. In this interview Thomas Lackner, Head of Open Innovation and Scouting at Siemens Corporate Technology, shares some of his experiences and how Siemens has evolved on the open innovation front. Thomas, who has been personally involved in many of Siemen’s innovation programs, also elaborates on some critical success factors that strongly influenced the outcome and quality of their programs.
Many organizations are recognizing the power of involving much larger and diverse groups in enterprise innovation. Some company cultures react well to the initiative, others are much more cautious. Building a sustainable culture where everyone’s happy to share ideas and contribute to company challenges can be tough for innovation professionals. In this session we explore how to create engagement from every corner of the enterprise to help your organization reach its innovation potential.
Maintaining and building high-quality engagement over time should be the focus of all innovation managers as they strive to develop sustainable enterprise programs. This article shares key activities you can undertake in order to boost engagement with your program.
How do cultural values influence innovative thinking and behaviors? There has been some research but the field is still young. In this article I attempt to summarize the current thinking regarding two cultural values and their implications for personal innovativeness.
Organization culture is not a vision, mission or management system. It is the strategy that guides how a company makes decisions disregard of what industry they compete in or where they play along the value chain and how decisions are made when the CEO is not around. And in particular today’s fast-paced turbulent business conditions, a strong corporate culture can provide the strategic agility and empowerment needed to reduce the recovery time from any unavoidable setbacks or disruption, says Idris Mootee.
Proposing ideas makes people feel vulnerable – so it’s in innovation’s interest to create a culture that’s secure. To reignite creativity, innovation, and learning, leaders must re-humanize work. This means understanding how scarcity – a feeling of never having enough – is affecting the way we lead and work, learning how to engage with vulnerability, and recognizing and combating shame.
Asian companies are different from Western companies in their approach to innovation. A recent study has identified four generic elements of the Asian approach that might help any Western company think differently and to be more effective in their business creation. In this article Peter Hesseldahl gives a brief overview of the conclusions.