The speed, variety and enormity of new ideas are making technology innovation harder than ever before. In recent times, we’ve seen a spate of new technology trends – distributed computing, GUIs, OOAD, and data warehousing. And now, we have a flood of them: mobile, social media, Big Data and analytics, cloud, the Internet of Things and 3D printing, to name a few. But, where do these ideas come from? How are new ideas accepted as important enough to work on? Who works on them? In all of these endeavors, most of the companies’ leadership has been founded on a corporate culture emphasizing open innovation as the most desirable of all organizational-objectives. It’s not easy for big companies to innovate, and in order to leverage innovation across the enterprise, they are:
- Building innovation metrics (such as, the number of ideas being considered, and the amount of revenue from new products/services) into business unit operating reviews.
- Appointing “innovation champions” in every business – i.e., credible leaders who would help their business presidents implement programs and processes to move the needle on the innovation metrics.
- Creating an innovation “network” on the intranet where internal entrepreneurs could share their stories and ideas.
- Orchestrating communication campaigns with blogs, articles, and video interviews with internal innovators.
- Organizing “enterprise innovation workshops,” with representatives from every part of the business to identify, plan and implement specific innovations that leverage existing company assets.
So, what’s the ultimate future of innovation? Dr. Edna Pasher, President at Epa Edna Pasher Associates says, “Only innovative thinking and innovative doing will make it possible for our civilization to survive. We need to re-invent our organizations, our businesses and our economic systems in order to survive. Big problems need a very high level of innovation in order to be solved. A high level of innovation cannot be achieved by individuals. It will take all of us to save us!”