“Innovation is the key to continued success.” “We innovate today to secure the future.”
These two quotes (the first by Ajay Banga, the CEO of MasterCard, and the second by Sophie Vandebroek, chief technology officer of Xerox Innovation Group) reflect how important innovation is to organizations. Success in business today demands innovation. In the dynamic, chaotic world of global competition, organizations must create new products and services and adopt state-of-the-art technology if they’re going to compete successfully.
What companies come to mind when you think of successful innovators? May be Apple with all its cool work and entertainment gadgets. May be Facebook for its 800 million-plus users. May be Nissan for creating the Leaf, the first mass-market all-electric car. Or even may be Zynga (a company founded in 2007 and now worth over $500 million) for creating wildly popular games and dominating the social gaming market. What’s the secret to the success of these innovator champions? What can other managers do to make their organizations more innovative?
How Are Creativity and Innovation Related?
Creativity refers to the ability to combine ideas in a unique way or to make unusual associations between ideas. A creative organization develops unique ways of working or novel solutions to problems. For instance, at Mattel, company officials introduced “Project Platypus,” a special group that brings people from all disciplines—engineering, marketing, design, and sales—and tries to get them to “think outside the box” in order to “understand the sociology and psychology behind children’s play patterns.”
To help make this kind of thinking happen, team members embarked on such activities as imagination exercises, group crying, and stuffed-bunny throwing. What does a throwing stuffed bunny have to do with creativity? It’s part of a juggling lesson where team members tried to learn to juggle two balls and a stuffed bunny. Most people can easily learn to juggle two balls but can’t let go of that third object. Creativity, like juggling, is learning to let go—that is, to “throw the bunny.”
But creativity by itself isn’t enough. The outcomes of the creative process need to be turned into useful products or work methods, which is defined as innovation. Thus, the innovative organization is characterized by its ability to channel creativity into useful outcomes. When managers talk about changing an organization to make it more creative, they usually mean they want to stimulate and nurture innovation. Those who are looking forward to join some professional courses to enhance their management skills, LSBF provides the best professional certificate program in innovation management and entrepreneurship.
Author: External Author