Innovate On Purpose

Where can it “sit” in regards to the organizational structure? This is probably one of the primary challenges facing companies that want to become more innovative. In the end, many groups or business functions within an organization can probably rightfully state to “own” development. Any firm with a considerable research and development team can expect that team to stake a claim to innovation. Product management or product development will stake a state as well often. But think about non-product related innovation? Who’s responsible for controlling creativity of services, or marketing, or business models?

Certainly this type of innovation doesn’t “belong” within an R&D group or with product marketing. This is where innovation and a bit can be got by the org chart hairy. What does your company mean when it says “innovation”? Incremental changes to existing products? Disruptive market entry in an new industry entirely? Dramatic changes in its business models or services? Each one of these definitions leads to another consideration of the location of innovation within a business. Ultimately, what we need to accept is that every part and function of the business should be accountable for innovating.

If your product teams are innovating and creating new products, won’t which have an effect on your sales and marketing teams and your service and support teams? Should customer services lag because all technology happens only at the product level? If you believe this can be a conundrum, consider for a second firms that deliver a products or services that course several business units or functions – banking or insurance for example.

While the buyer does not provide a second considered to his / her banking services, each key service (mortgage, checking, cost savings, etc) is handled as a stovepipe business unit. So when one team innovates, but the others don’t, it generates an improvement in the real way the assistance are shipped. Eventually all of these business functions should try to learn to interact more effectively, and innovate for the needs of the customer rather than for his or her own discrete needs.

  • Eliminate requirements regarding the applications for substitute compliance; and
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  • Cooking capability
  • Communicate to diverse viewers effectively, both orally and in writing

Where does technology sit in a firm that has to combine its products and services to present a unified offering for a customer? There’s not one clear answer – we’ve seen a few models that show the experiments that firms will try out. The foremost is a centralized model highly, with one central team responsible for managing and capturing ideas, although those ideas will be produced and implemented in a product team or business unit.

Then, there’s the contrary strategy – very distributed and hands off creativity taking place in each business device with little corporate and business or centralized direction. Finally, there’s a hybrid, a central team that helps manage and provide consistent approaches to innovation happening throughout the business. Most firms start with a highly distributed model, not on purpose but because the united teams need to perform innovation and its simpler to start within one group. Then, as management teams recognize the worthiness of innovation and the distributed nature of innovation of their businesses, a central team is formed.

Is it merely constant ineptitude and incompetence? I don’t see that. Recently Ken Clarke was the Justice Minister and very few would ever accuse Ken to be either inept or incompetent and if they did, they would have been wrong. Instead, thanks to the media, it has become politically impossible to take any kind of sensible view about how exactly to deal with crime.

If any British politician tried to adopt a Scandinavian method of crime, the press would take him apart piece by piece and he would not stand a snowball in Hell’s potential for getting elected. So we continue and on with the tried and failed ‘lock ‘em up and throw away the key’ routine.

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