Innovate (if not invent) daily — 2 easy steps

Innovation has been trivialized so much that even politicians use this word now during their campaigns. If you belong to a corporate set-up in a listed organization, in all likelihood you would be having one ExCom member owning up Innovation agenda in the organization. And if you are a startup, possibly your whole existence is revolving around the word Innovation. But how is Innovation shaping up in larger enterprises?

In a large enterprise structure, the first step towards building Innovation orientation is to set up an Innovation culture.

I had run a quick poll on my Google+ timeline 2 weeks back (link here — feel free to jump in and share your choice) on “What is the biggest roadblock towards Innovation in organizations?” With 77 participants, overwhelmingly (i.e. 60%) people voted for “Culture”.When I had joined a seminar on Business Innovation at Kolkata (Link here) earlier this month, the 3 other CIOs present on the panel also agreed on this.

It's quite apparent that unless the culture barrier is broken (or acknowledged at least by the key stakeholders) in an organization, it becomes very difficult to get tangible benefits from Innovation beyond PowerPoint presentations.

There are 2 easy (and well-known) ways towards building an Innovation culture in an organization:

  1. Don’t mix up Innovation with Invention. Not many businesses require ground-breaking, patent-earning changes every day. The small incremental changes are more welcome for any business owner/CEO as they can test it out in the business setup.
  2. Fail fast and fail cheap. While everyone in your neighborhood would agree that failure is the pillar of success, you won't find many in your vicinity when you start failing a couple of times while trying out new innovative stuff. What would make people more supportive is when you can make the pain of failure lesser. If the cash & time outgo is minimal for each failure, you would get more backers in the organization towards innovation.

Digital Innovation often doesn’t require much investment. Digital has actually reduced the cost of Innovation to a large extent. It’s the idea, execution and most importantly — the follow-up post-execution, that matter most in the Digital Innovation journey.

I am passionate about Digital Innovation, and I work with the CEOs and business heads in trying to solve their business problems. Feel free to connect in my social coordinates for sharing your ideas.

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Also published on Medium

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