INVESTING IN YOU...with Arlette L.M. Jeet MBA
1. How would you know if a company is innovative?
One can tell if a company is innovative by basing one’s findings on various factors. Firstly one must define innovation within the realm of business then one can move forward to analyze if a company is innovative or not.
My Definition of Innovation: innovation is the process by which one can take an idea, product or service that is already in existence and build upon them so as to ensure some new benefit is accrued. Innovation in its truest sense is not the creation of something completely new however it is the tweaking or enhancement of something that is already in existence.
I would know if a company is innovative by using the above definition and comparing and contrasting what a company has produced, in relation to the said definition.
2. How can managers empower teams for innovation?
Managers can empower teams for innovation by incorporating the following ideas into their operating structure;
· Encourage staff to meditate on scriptures that indicate the benefits of exercising one’s imagination and dreaming capabilities, such as in Genesis, Proverbs and Habakkuk.
· Encouraging teams to communicate through various forms, in writing, email, text messaging, instant messaging, telephone, in person.
· Allowing staff to leave anonymous suggestions.
· Asking open questions of their employees. Questions must be tailored to suit the personality of each member of staff.
· Get to know staff and foster work relationships with them.
· Educate staff about goods and services that are already in existence.
· Encourage staff to be innovative by taking time to listen to their ideas and highlighting (not immediately) how these ideas may or may not be adopted by their company. Indicate the pros and cons of each idea.
· Directly inform staff that innovation is welcome within the organization and staff shall not be penalized for contributions they make rather they shall be rewarded.
· Begin a reward system for innovative contributions by staff.
· Prepare oneself and staff for change because where there is innovation, there shall certainly be change.
3. What is the difference between a business strategy and an innovation strategy?
· Business Strategy is a “long term plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal or set of goals and objectives”
· Whereas an Innovation Strategy is “the alignment of an organization’s goals, people, resources, and culture.” Innovation for example at the organization “IDEO means being receptive to cultural and market trends, and applying this knowledge in forward-thinking ways to generate groundbreaking and desirable products and services for our clients.”
The difference between Business Strategy and Innovation Strategy includes the following;
Innovation strategy seeks to work in line with business strategy as to ensure the business strategy is manifested
Innovation strategy may be short-term, per each objective
Innovation strategy is a tool by which Business strategy may be enhanced to give an organization a refreshing image in the marketplace and access to new or otherwise inaccessible markets
Innovation strategy is used to support Business strategy of an organization
Innovation Strategy looks at trends that predict what the future would be and uses the said information in order to produce strategy that takes this possible future or futures into consideration
4. How does innovation contrast with planning and budgeting?
Innovation, planning and budgeting all have to be created with the future in mind. However both planning and budgeting must also be very concerned with the present state of affairs and their effects on the organization.
Whilst innovation looks at possible creative futures and can actually cause such a possible future to occur though without proper planning and budgeting this possible innovation may never have the foundation by which it can come into existence.
Innovation needs both planning and budgeting as part of its foundation if it intends to be successful.