by: Idris Mootee

Innovation
is being used by business leaders as a miracle cure, allowing companies
to stay competitive in fast changing markets. The word is now commonly
used in ads, annual reports and corporate mission statement. For all of
the talk about the importance of innovation, innovation management and
strategic innovation are hardly generally understood.
Forward-looking
executives are all looking at confronting the challenge of innovation
when decades or management practices and system were designed to
improve efficiency and building scale and scope as well as maintaining
control. Innovation management was relatively not part of most B-school
curriculum and there were few management tools and frameworks out there
to help managers to do this job.

Designthinking

Innovation management is the economic implementation and
exploitation of new ideas and discoveries, and the implementation of an
innovation culture in an organization, to promote and make possible the
development of new ideas and business opportunities. It consists of
innovation strategy, culture, idea management and commercialization
risk management. The last one is least understood and most people just
simply associate innovation with creative ideas. Now against the
backdrop of the continuous disruption bring about by digital
technologies, the rise of the knowledge worker and the creative class,
accelerating globalization, and the declining predictability of
business in general, only new approaches to management of talent will
provide companies with a sustainable competitive advantage. Emerging
technology, globalization and social computing were creating new
opportunities that didn't exist before.

This is no question it will be painful for companies contemplate to
put away decades of management orthodoxy; they will have to balance
revolutionary thinking with rapid experimentation to feel their way to
new management models. Time is the essence. For more than 20 years I've
been trying to help clients to innovate. Although the definition of
innovation was very different when I started and the focus was
primarily towards new technology or manufacturing process. It was sort
of R&D and my mission was to figure out how to commercialize them.

Today, innovation takes on a whole new meaning. Looking back at the
history of management for the last 50 years you'll quickly realize that
"management" was designed to solve a very specific problem from
today--how to perform certain things in a repetitive fashion and
controlled manager as they increase the scale both locally and
internationally. It is about building a giant ship with is bigger and
more efficient than others. It also carries a lot of sailors and
passengers and everyone need to be on board and stay there throughout
the journey.

Here are our big challenges: How do you build organizations that are
agile and as nimble as change itself? How do you mobilize the
imagination of every employee, partners and customers? How do you
create a new reward system that encourage smart and calculated risk
taking? How can get these done when we have to report performance as a
public company on a quarterly basis?

Three CMOs asked me over the last four weeks why my company is
focused on digital innovation and not innovation in general. My answer
was that digital technologies and connectivity is making it possible to
amplify and aggregate human imaginations and capabilities in ways never
before possible. But most CEOs don't yet understand how dramatically
these developments will change the way companies compete, organize, and
manage resources. In another words, - Web 2.0 will change the way we
are organized and how decisions are made - Management 2.0.

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