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 maintainng 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.
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.