Determining readiness for the implementation of an ‘innovation strategy’ is not defined by a checklist.  The checklist refers to what is necessary to assess an organization or business’ understanding in relation to yours about their plans using a set of commonly used terms called:  goals, written in a fluffy way to categorize and separate a vision, from a mission, using leadership, processes, and resources.  These are high level executive concepts – generalized, not specific.  It means a company must have goals before they can implement innovation.  It seems that more than just goals are required, but also a clear assessment of where they currently stand and how they plan to improve or innovate, beyond just an invention or regular product or service improvement.

Objectively and Creatively Evaluate Others and Your Own Work

Business process management or re-engineering is used to improve or manage processes, for consistent efficiencies with the ability to evaluate and measure change.  Technology improves all of this, but these are things often reviewed when developing new or improving systems.  How do we innovate is a common question, translated or otherwise stated as:  How can we get or be better, spend less, waste less, enjoy life more, and manage all of these great ideas, opportunities, and options, as well as change, while remaining profitable, happy, successful, and not damaging what already exists or continuing on in a cycle of dysfunction or inefficiency?  Figure 4.7 – The checklist for innovation strategy presents low level concepts, yet useful in all parts of life, but not known or followed by everyone.  Not everyone understands or accepts the ideals of creating a ‘vision’ and using ‘leadership concepts’ and reviewing how people and systems share information, the purpose, the waste, how to be more efficient and effective.  These are old ideals that suggests a management team is required to plan and coordinate the tasks of its employees.  In high performing organizations, innovation is not something managers perform as oversight and daily tasks but are principles they use in their service or products, ideals, and practices. 

This is the main premise of ‘innovation’ on a business management level, or what should be the common strategy of all technology changes, reviews, or use selections.  Everyone has vision, and ways they think would be best for a company, but many don’t see and understand – it requires more than just a visual and idea sharing, or mentally and aesthetically pleasing proposals like the word “innovative” – or “ingenuitive” – people’s perceptions and behaviors are what are important, either to be improved or eliminated.  Is innovation a daily task, a business principle, or a project?  It seems more of training employees and implementing processes with minds and sights set on how to regularly improve people, processes, and products.  An ‘innovative organization’ does not routinely carry out its day-to-day operations blindly fulfilling task orders without taking out the time to conduct product and performance reviews on multiple levels and timelines.  

Innovation requires understanding or explanation of what the word applies to, and how to show results, as well as the purpose behind it.  It’s not a concept of being the best of the best, but producing the best, most preferred, and best value product or service and doing it with a specific strategy of immediate and long-term results, either evident by quarterly finance reports, or other valuable measurements that show increase in standards across the entire corporation.  First, the standards must be known to exceed them and so do expectations, but delivering products always based on expectations or to customer specifications shows little to no innovation because the company is only doing what its asked or told, responding to the needs of everyone else and not driving the business train to industry or worldwide change.  Some new ideas seem amazing, like Facebook, but end up being disastrous or faulty, but it depends on who what perspective or what user and experience level reviews the new system of social engineering.

If customers accept low quality work, then innovation is not a top priority if the leadership accepts the low-quality standards of the customer.  Innovation teaches executives and managers to increase quality on both fronts, which enables them to improve the business atmosphere for both clients and employees.  A hire and fire concept, which works in many places, is also not the answer or contributor to innovation.  In a learning environment, visions are often conceptual, or evaluations of other writers or concepts, not personally implementable because they are too large or because there is no proof or strategy that education changes industry, until students are ready to apply what they’ve learned.  Individual reviews, reports of other organizations ideals of innovation, as well as ‘hard coding’ or promoting keywords, such as “front end, back end” and vehicle management concepts sounds like industry follows the basic car manufacturer.  Continuing with this approach might ‘sound’ appealing and is something comparable and predictable by reviewing old business tactics, as well as providing the world with something they all need with various levels of design quality; they still pollute the environment and require serious maintenance plans.  Technology is not a vehicle, but it does provide a means to help businesses get where they need to go and give them the ‘tools’ needed to improve performance.  The question is, why produce or continue in a cycle of something people already have and know, in a market that fully functions consistently.  The mixing of terminology is creative writing or explanation and causes severe discomfort because ‘automation’ is only a single component of an overused and flooded industry concept.  It’s like they attempted to use Ford Motor Company’s business manufacturing approach to business management for all products and services because they invented something amazing, came up with a standard management process, and experienced a serious crash and leveled out to remain consistent and competitive with a few new releases.  “Getting new ideas off the ground” suggests we have to struggle to for something to take off, when we don’t even know or are able to forecast where its headed.  The Global Position System, to the customer is simple navigation, an amazing invention, but to the innovator, it’s the technology where most investments should be placed because of its potential.  “Driving such projects” or tasks is not steered by simple product engineering and release methods; it requires a serious long-term review, strategy, and application, as well as protection, prevention, and all the many areas the Technology spans. 

New ideas are amazing and innovative, but not if the company is already set in their ways, with sound processes, and procedures, without the need to solve more problems, or take on new business areas in need of improvement.  Problem solving focused organizations might actually create more problems.  Constant change is damaging, confusing, and in technology destructive and results in half-baked or what people call ‘homemade’ non-supported, yet genius, or seriously in need of help products, with people trying to come up with new ideas to replace previous half-hearted attempts or to try to compete with products that exist without a specific regulation process or market management process.  Worse is garbage built upon garbage, without an Environmental Strategy.  Rapid responses to questions without evidence, proof, and time to see it to the end, creates distrust and waste.  It’s not just innovation.  A company can ‘set out’ to do the same work it has been doing for the past 100 years, and attempt an ‘innovation strategy’ or open their business managers or staff to brainstorming sessions, or call an outside company to help, but it has to be done regularly, structured, consistently, and the process of innovation must be tested and managed itself before it can be used as a ‘strategic process’ used to manage other processes, such as the Technology Development process.  Perhaps its not a process, but a principle or way of working, with a mind set on an awareness or ‘eye’ for business change.

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By Sheri