It was in 2006-2007 at IISc Bangalore Campus, Dr. Shankarand I were discussing a concept that I had in mind ( partly, on a Paper Napkin ) and our discussion went on for hours. Thereafter, We met at regular intervals at IISc ( the old coffee house), IIM B lounge and many hours of phone calls.
Long story short, Our discussion centered around the changing times for the business.
On one hand, customers are demanding more for less and on the other, growth in core markets is declining for many businesses. This is when most of us hear CEOs announcing a major effort to stimulate Innovation & growth.
Organizations respond by adopting idea management, Open Innovation models etc., But only a few have been successful in navigating the waters.
So, what is the real impediment?
Quoting Christensen & his co-authors in their book “Competing Against luck” Innovation, in a very real sense, exists in a “Pre-quality revolution” state. Managers accept flaws, missteps, and failures as an inevitable part of the process of innovation.
So, the organizations designed to be “Performance engines ” reject this approach.The real impediment is not making Innovation Predictable with Repeat success.
After many collective years of research and implementation experience, we understood that the missing link is the Innovation Enabler.
Who is this Innovation Enabler ? an Individual or a Genius?
The answer is “Neither”.
Borrowing quote from my mentor & friend Rajesh Setty: “Turning on individual’s genius is an appealing approach, but it’s scarce & can rarely scale.”
So, it can’t be just one individual. It has to be Collective.
Innovation enabler should be able to transcend Organization’s Innovation from the “Pre-quality revolution” as in the Automotive industry and bring in Predictability to Innovation and Sustain it.
This collective Innovation Enabler should contribute to innovation by removing obstacles and creating the conditions for innovation to flourish, such as establishing processes, systems, and ground rules that promote innovation.
Apart from that, a true Innovation enabler should help the organization answer these questions.
- How would business chart the next Innovation-led growth?
- How to create an unfair competitive advantage in the offerings to create superior business performance?
- How to leap from one-off to Predictable Innovation?
At iEnabler, we said a true Innovation Enabler should elevate the level of ideas, help teams analyze and get to the bottom of the real problem, should provide valuable insights to spot Opportunities and help leadership focus on defining the Ideal Strategic Intent be it in terms of Business model, Product or Service.It should provide a roadmap for where and how a company should innovate to undermine established leaders or create new markets. So, the seed to develop the next wave of Innovation management started at the coffee house and the Paper napkin (I still treasure it!) gave rise to a new iEnabler Software that enables Innovation and support it by providing consulting services. Over the years, we went on to create Process called Innovation Symmetry, tools & techniques to address this next wave. To bring this Innovation Enabler in action for your business,talk to us.