Innovation is all about figuring out the better way to do things and transform novel ideas to achieve business value.

Innovation is not an aimless adventure, but a business value-driven adventure. It comes in many flavors and there are lots of opportunities in an enterprise to do so. If a digital paradigm, like a jigsaw puzzle with thousands of pieces, is easy to get lost when trying to capture the big picture.

 Innovation is the clue to un-puzzle it smoothly. Innovation would be the adventure to explore different paths to experiment with alternative ways to do things, unlock collective potential effortlessly.

Purpose-driven innovation: Being innovative implies unconventional ways to do things; reimagine the new possibilities of designing personalized products or services to delight customers. The purpose is the source of all power. The purpose of innovation is about transforming novel ideas to achieve their commercial value for delighting customers. Today’s digital leaders should be self-aware of their role in innovative initiative and show the professional maturity to understand intention, capability, and capacity for innovation management.

High-effective business management should gain the super consciousness of purpose from diverse perspectives. Innovation, especially incremental innovation requires a goal to get started, solving an emergent problem innovatively in a structural way. Purpose can be revised or expanded to fit for the emerging events or drive desired changes. If needed, repurpose, realign and configure well-designed business components and systems to improve innovation effectiveness.

Empathetic innovation: Innovation is not for its own sake, but to solve problems. Customer involvement often elicits highly invaluable information to design tailored applications or solutions to meet customers’ needs and initiate empathetic innovation. When managing a people-centric innovation life cycle, gain a deep understanding of customers through empathetic observation and feedback-feed forward practices; first listen, then make a conversation; first envision, then communicate; first observe, then perceive; first learn to absorb knowledge, then question, capture insight, networking, incubating great ideas into fruition.

Empathy can help to understand the challenges that the teams, customers, and all other stakeholders face. Empathy is the ability to connect the minds via multi-disciplinary touch points. It takes effort and becomes more focused on innovative problem-solving. From empathetic communication to empathetic innovation, empathy is the core foundation in design; design thinking is a process of empathy building and innovation. Remember innovation is not an invention! It must prove its value in the market. Customers must be willing to pay for this, be it a product, process or service innovation.

Cross-disciplinary innovation: Innovation is about solving problems in an alternative way. It is the integration and search for new viewpoints that are holistic. Vertically, the deeper you can perceive the holistic digital impact, the further you can reach the digital vision and pinnacle. There needs to be a better appreciation to examine a situation and understand the problem from different angles. Effective innovation management requires a fit process as part of the holistic innovation system that can detect emerging opportunities and risks, and initiate cross-disciplinary innovation systematically.

Even though we can make certain forecasts, we don't really know the future of the industry or the environment completely, but we prepare ourselves to create it better and compete in it. The boundaries limit our understanding of emergence, would it be computational, innovative, or economic. Cross-discipline innovation has an expanded scope; focusing on commercially relevant compounds innovation management which are driven by clear strategic goals, risk management, and integral and interdisciplinary process management. It is benefiting not only their organization, but also their industry, the adjacent industry, even the widest audience of the digital ecosystem.

Innovation is all about figuring out the better way to do things and transform novel ideas to achieve business value. Innovation management requires much deeper whole systems and taking emergent, generative, iterative, integrative, and holistic approaches. The leverage point is how to structure innovation without adding too much complexity, streamline idea flow, generate winning concepts on a consistent basis, to achieve sustainable business advantage.

Follow us at: @Pearl_Zhu