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Welcome to Part 3 of the Q&A series on Innovation. Below is the final thought provoking question and answer on Innovation. We have saved the best for last- the answer will provide you with great insight into successfully overcoming the current economic crisis
Q: What are some critical trends individuals and organizations need to know for weathering the economical storm and beyond?
A: There are several trends. For instance, the future of jobs does not look good for traditional jobs or regular activities performed in exchange for payment, including computer programmer, bank teller, customer phone representative, nurse, certain lawyers, doctors. Those jobs, according to research we have conducted, will be either enhanced or eliminated within the next 5-10 years due to two major trends: Information Automation and Globalization.
Another trend is that most businesses today are ‘wired' to create profits, not create new jobs. This is a critical point that is much forgotten. It means businesses will do whatever is necessary to make a profit. They will automate every job task and overlook the passion behind the job - the human element.
The only solution to the profit challenge versus maintaining valuable jobs is for individuals in various jobs to re-innovate themselves. This can be achieved by applying more human skills to existing jobs or developing new skills that cannot be automated or outsourced in the face of these major trends.
In our applied research, we have discovered that for most organizations considering automation over people, the answer is the same. In order to survive in business, organizations must rethink how to attract, retain, and grow talent pools with skills that cannot be automated - discovery, creativity, influence, resilience, implementation, and mindful action. These are some examples of competencies, which we believe will be in greater demand in the future. At DeSai, we call these the new ‘Hyper Skills' needed in every future job.To compete effectively, businesses will have to focus on the importance of the quality and readiness of their talent. Finally, I believe millions of new jobs will be created, not by organizations, but by creative and innovative people themselves. Those who can figure out how to re-invent their own jobs to keep them from being ‘automated or outsourced' will greatly benefit. The period when employers only designed new job positions are about to go, with more opportunities for those who can create their own job roles and activities to help their organizations.
One last point. I believe a large percentage of workers will need to seek a living outside the corporate umbrella in the future. I think that individuals who can consciously, directly or indirectly, generate income and profits outside the organization will see the most success in the future. We will definitely be more of an entrepreneurial society.
Your feedback, questions and comments are more than welcomed...
Welcome to Part 2 of the Q&A series on Innovation for Individuals and Organizations! Below are next three questions (and answers!) on Innovation by Jatin DeSai, CEO of the DeSai Group. Feel free to ask and discuss any thoughts, comments or questions you may have...
Q2: What are some myths associated with innovation?
Answer: Among the myths about innovation is that most people think of innovation as an invention or breakthrough products like the iPhone, hybrid cars, green computers, GPS in cars, etc. Another myth is the belief that innovation is only for large companies.Other myths associated with innovation include the idea that innovation is too risky, eccentric, and time consuming to achieve. Some think innovation is only for R&D areas or for high-tech companies and consumer product industries only. Some believe that innovation is too costly and it takes too long to identify areas in need of innovation and implement solutions. All of these ideas and many more are all unfounded. Every organization, for profit or not for profit, large or small, in every function and at every level can greatly benefit from innovation. The key is to understand it, define it for their respective business, and point all innovation efforts towards one of three value-generation business outcomes - to grow revenue, to grow profits, or to grow market reputation.
Click here to read the book 'The Myths of Innovation' by the well renowned author Scott Berkun.
Q3: You say innovation is a critical driver of growth. Isn't all growth done by innovation or do you mean folks stick to tried and true methods for growth?
Answer: Most businesses are designed to make profits alone. In our, more than 25 years of experience, senior executives seem to pay more attention to the bottom line(profits) and ROI metrics then to top-line growth. Top-line (sales/revenue) growth is much harder to achieve then the bottom line. Most incentives and compensation plans are primarily tied to the bottom line and stock value. I believe this is the primary cause of much of our financial system failure. Motivation to grow the top-line with innovation rarely exists in the business ecology. Innovation, by definition, requires allocation for ‘mindful failure' (planned projects for purpose of trial, error, and learning), experimentation, and courage to withstand financial performance pressures. When there is no incentive to grow by innovation, only those real leaders with highest moral integrity are willing to do it. Here lies the irony of our current economical situation.
Click here to read how the world's largest technlogy company HP is riding the recession wave using Innovation.
Q4: How can innovation help discover what your customers (internal and external) really want?
Answer: Innovation has very specific management processes. It can be organized and managed similar to every other organizational capability. At our firm, we have created training programs, courses, tools, and methods to teach our clients how to be more creative and strategic for future growth. One of our tools is designed to discover everyone's own "Innovation StyleTM"; i.e. what stimulates creative thinking and how people approach problem solving (click here for more). By understanding this ‘human side' of innovation, it is absolutely possible to identify a client's deeper intent (beyond the needs). Once everyone learns how to bring out the best 360º thinking in themselves and from others, the organization can achieve extraordinary success and generate maximum value with assets they already have. This sounds simple, but learning to ask questions tailored to an individual's style is a much more complex. However, once individuals and management in organizations learn the skill of asking the right questions, they will become more successful in determining what customers ‘really' want and need.
Jatin DeSai, CEO of the DeSai Group recently answered 5 thought-provoking questions on the role of innovation for individuals and organizations. The answers to these questions will stimulate your understanding of Innovation and its positive impact on you personally and professionally.
The first question and answer is posted below.The remaining four Q & A's will be posted over the week...
Q&A on Role of Innovation for Individuals and Organizations
By: Mr. Jatin DeSai, CEO, The DeSai Group
“Innovation Execution” Consulting Firm
Q1: What is the game of innovation? Is innovation a game?
Answer: "Yes, innovation is a game. It is a game because it requires knowledge and skills to compete and win in the ever changing markets. Innovation is a game that every business today needs to play today to avoid becoming useless or even extinct.
Also part of the game of innovation is global competition, the energy crises, economic system failure, poverty, population expansion, and many other mega trends that are here to stay. All of these are converging upon every business sector simultaneously. They are like huge rivers all merging in to one. The turbulence, the waves, and the force created by these mega trends have never been seen by humanity before.
That is why running a business the ‘same old way’ will only guarantee that its management will end up on a commodity island – where everything is price competitive and customers don’t see much difference between that business and the competition. From my perspective as an innovation consultant, I believe that every business must figure out a way to meet every challenge directly or indirectly, with a focus on winning the game of innovation. This means, businesses must learn to experiment, fail, learn from failure, and try something else – until they develop new business acumen skills to sustain and grow.
The rules of the innovation game have also changed - primarily due to two “major” forces: the information revolution and globalization. There is plenty of evidence that shows how these two major trends are shifting consumer buying patterns, local and regional economies, access to education, environmental issues, and the pace of life for every human being. This has created more urgent need to invent new ways of doing business – faster then ever before. Average life span of a company is shortening and more businesses are failing faster due to these two major trends.
Innovation comes from the act of being creative. Creativity comes from people. So, to play this game correctly and compete in this new age, CEO’s must find a way to tap in to the hearts and minds of employees, customers, suppliers, and partners. Our latest research shows that the most critical new competencies that must be developed and managed in your company culture will be: discovery, creativity, influence, implementation, and mindful action. These skills cannot be outsourced and will play more a important role when creating and keeping customers for life."
Feel free to comment and express your thoughts on this blog..