Innovation, does it go with me?

Posted: January 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

Recently I had a conversation with a collegue about a proposal he had to do for a customer about a specific BI development around a financial product. He did the proposal on his own, googling information, analysing it, matching it with the requirements and then, writing something from scratch. I explained him about a similar work that other group was doing in the company. He was quite surprised.

The experience the other group could bring into the proposal could be crucial on the decission making process for the customer. So then, what?

I immediatelly started thinking about many different things to do to improve this type of scenarios. In that same conversation we already identify a bunch of them that we could easily implement. Once the improvements are identified, we need to analyse them in deep and do a minimal impact and cost analysis. And then it is the action time, maybe, the most difficult one since normally involves other people’s way of doing things.

To sumarise, the process goes like this:

  • identify an improvement point (normally a problem for the company)
  • identify solutions
  • analyse them in deep considering your company and market realities (most of the times the perfect solution simply doesn’t fit in our company!), costs and impact to other people
  • classify, prioritise
  • implement them
  • check the performance
  • reaction! (go Back to to first step)

Some people could say this is not innovation, but for me, anything we do to better perform our processes it is indeed innovation.

Now, let’s apply the same rational process in the market. It is pretty frequent on me that, whenever I read an article about any tendency or problem a company or sector has, I start thinking on how my company could help to solve it or add value. So the innovation process is something companies need now to spread around their employees. It does not sit anymore only in the R&D departments or management (see what Google did with its Google Labs department last year).  And once our employees come with these new ideas, then let’s put a formal process in place to filter them down and implement those more beneficial for the company.

Some years ago we could do this process from time to time. Information, products and processes were pretty stable. We can’t afford doing this any more. We need to certainly change the way we, our employees, behave. We need all to do this innovation process constantly and at all levels. From improving a daily and small simple process to create a new product or service for our clients. Live is so demanding! This is the game we have to play now! And if we don’t want to play this game, let’s then get out of it and retire to our dreamed countryside house!

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