Opinion space about water and its challenges

22 October 2014

Five fundamental challenges to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in organizations


Innovation probably needs entrepreneurship much more than entrepreneurship needs innovation, but it strikes me that it is increasingly difficult to separate these issues in organizations. In this post and in future entries I wouldare like to share some reflections on this subject.

Some of the fundamental challenges that we face in organizations when talking about innovation mean that we have to:

I. Determine the focus of the value contribution of innovation through new products, business models or technologies (Focus & Market oriented)

II. Capture the knowledge existing inside and outside the organization in an efficient manner (Global Knowledge Network)

III. Position the development of new products and business models on the organization’s agenda at equivalent levels to commercial action and the delivery of services. (Innovation & entrepreneurship culture)

IV. Co-develop, collaborate and partner with talent irrespective of where it is located (Open Innovation)

V. Generate results which have a positive impact on the income statement at the rate required by the market (Result Oriented & Time to Market)

 (i), (ii) and (v) are challenges which include the design and implementation of what we can call governance and innovation management processes. The involvement of all the members of the value chain is essential: commercial (markets), product managers (product development), delivery (factory), experts (technology centres),… In short, a totally necessary hard approach, which ends with funnel-type innovation measures and committees.

On the contrary, (iii) and (iv) require a much softer approach. In this case, the solutions must tend to generate new spaces in which making mistakes forms part of the process. There is no submission to the crucial tyranny of organizational procedures. The so-called ‘non-habitual suspects’ must be integrated, that is to say talent with a different profile to the one that the organization has internally. We should moreover be encouraged to enter spaces of uncertainty which at least allow us to train in creativity and disruption, to thus be able to apply learning in the spaces of the least disruptive innovation and of business as usual.

All of these actions help to generate, individually in the professionals of an organization, a mentality which should continue with an attitude in which boldness, commitment and creativity exponentially increase their intensity. The collective impact is furthermore reflected in the pride of belonging and generosity of effort. In short, an entrepreneurial mindset is generated individually and collectively.

New spaces, method and talent appear as the basic ingredients to convert innovation into a tool which provides tangible results at the service of business development.



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