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In the last months a large number of government and corporate organisations in Australia are starting to use “innovation” in their organisations. It’s part of the Australian Government’s initiative to transition new and established businesses to become innovative in their thinking, behaviours, products and services.
In the last few years, we have seen an increased focus on organisational leadership, which has now been evolved into organisational innovation. As good innovators are true leaders, it shows organisations are merely maturing on a global organisational evolution path.
To introduce innovation across well-established corporate organisations is an exceptional challenge. Truly innovative organisations are known to have the following 7 key characteristics:
- The organisational strategy is clear and relevant,
- Innovation, only, meets your organisational goals,
- Failure is an option, and is part of the process,
- Innovative organisations implement market relevant solutions,
- The employees are broad-perspective and cross-functional,
- There is a trust environment, and
- It allows team autonomy, creating self-organised teams.
However, to be an innovative company, it’s crucial to have innovative employees. This is the continuous challenge, as innovators are created through diverse personal and business experiences, the gained knowledge (taught or obtained) and curiosity of that individual. Additionally, it’s crucial for an organisation to adopt the 7 key requirements allowing employees to effectively grow innovative behaviours towards innovative ideas, which are transformed into innovative solutions, ultimately delivering true innovation…
Another challenge for organisations is to “nurture” innovators. Some organisations believe that true innovators should be “created” through the ranks of organisation. By introducing cross-functional career paths with “special projects”, the innovator is able to deliver innovative ideas and solutions that suit the organisational strategy. Other organisations believe that true innovators have obtained their experience through cross-functional and cross-industry experience. Allowing these individuals to combine experiences and learnings across the industry to deliver innovative solutions for the organisation.
I believe that innovators can come from either inside organisations and external, as no innovator is the same. Some employees innovate more effective if they are in the same organisational environment, and have executed different cross-functional roles, allowing their innovative “juices” to flow freely. Other innovators require to have moved between industries, roles, countries, etc. to trigger their innovative “juices”. This all depends on the individual learning journey. Therefore, creating innovators can’t be a single development “course”…
Depending on individual experiences and the organisational environment, it depends when individuals start innovating. Some people start innovating at an early age due to their “nurtured” innovative environment, others first require to have a substantial amount of experience and knowledge before they are confident to “innovate”. However, it’s shown that innovation is not age-related. Innovation can happen at any age as long as the organisational environment supports the key characteristics (as describe above).
So how do you introduce innovation?
Introducing innovation is a challenging task. Creating innovators is the role of the organisation, however, using principles like Agile Innovation has proven to allow organisations that are unfamiliar to an “innovative environment” to easily transition towards innovation through a risk-controlled innovation methodology. This new methodology can be seen as a “proof of concept” innovation environment that allows individuals to introduce innovative ideas and adopt innovative solution delivery practices. Ultimately, this allows organisations to transition towards effective innovators, meeting the 7 key characteristics…
Unique Excellence is a pioneer in truly delivering Agile Innovation across many established Asia-Pacific, EMEA and US global multinationals to introduce innovative solutions, and is happy to have an open conversation to understand your challenges, bottlenecks and pressures to meet your organisational goals. This will then allow us to define an innovative roadmap to also support your organisation towards Enterprise Innovation…
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