Bill Gates said that “Never before in history has innovation offered promise of so much to so many in so short a time”. This is evident from the time spent, and the focus and resources that innovation receive in companies, especially with the advent of the internet of things, Industry 4.0 and many other exciting (but new?) offerings.
Innovation starts from idea generation right through to successful implementation that delivers value. This article is not about how to generate an idea, or how to manage innovation and the process of implementation, but rather on the human and people component thereof.
Innovation and the success thereof is closely coupled with the capability of the organisation’s employees. In the words of Steve Jobs, "innovation has nothing to do with how many R & D dollars you have. It's about the people you have, how you're led, and how much you get it.”
Aspects that are prevalent in people that are regarded as successful innovators are:
The ability to question the current reality and why things are done the way they are;
The awareness and ability to observe current activities and details that may suggest new ways of doing things;
Openness to Cross pollination and perspectives to allow insights from different industries;
Freedom and discernment to allow for experimenting, testing and conceptualising ideas, and
Ability to associate and make connections between seemingly unrelated matters.
The capacity and capability in people to generate, recognize, develop, refine and ultimately implement new ideas or concepts are essential components of innovation. Innovative organisations have the inherent capacity and capability to create the environment and opportunities for innovation.
So how do you know whether you have the inherent capacity in your organisation?
One of our best practices employed by Fourier-E are built on the concept of the capability maturity models that was originally developed by the Carnegie Melon university.
Over the years several models have been developed, and we believe that the Innovation Capability Maturity Model could assist to understand the journey towards becoming innovative by creating the environment for innovation.
If you want real innovation as part of your day job, then remember to question, be aware of what is happening, and take the freedom to think and associate ideas and make it part of your 'normal' responsibilities.
Fourier-E has also partnered with innovation experts of The Growth System to deliver innovation solutions to organisations in their attempt to become more innovative. As part of the offering Novixo, a bespoke Innovation management system has also been developed to support and facilitate the journey.
If you are serious about innovation and understand its importance in the business context, contact Fourier-E to assist you with this journey to ensure sustainable and synergised innovation in your organisation.