Currently viewing the category: "Creativity"

A large part of the SME Organizations is concerned with improving what they produce and the processes they use, that is, to make faster and cheaper what they have to offer.

It is a culture, imbued with processes that are often aimed at excellence in productivity, in quality, in continuous improvement process or growth strategy, but which can kill innovation.

It is a culture learned from big companies that focus on the past, and that apply and replicate things that have been proven as symbols of efficiency. These companies work with reliable things and do not open the door to what can be valid because they consider, most of the times, that it is in the trust of the brand that is their competitive advantage.

When a company works on a solution to satisfy the needs of its customers, and only seeks to reduce costs of this exploration in addition to offering small improvements and increased “novelties”, there is a risk of walking in the opposite direction of the treadmill.

If we reflect a little, we end up agreeing that both in SMEs and in startups there are active creative people because, in this type of organizations, there is a need for a lot of creativity to lead businesses to the path of success.

Perhaps it is more difficult to find creativity in large companies and in some SMEs because of organizational structure and business processes. The structure and processes make it almost impossible to be creative and meet the needs and wants of consumers / users.

For this small organizations must think about working three variables (encouraging – fail – combine) when trying to successfully try new ideas, says Vijay Govindarajan.

On the one hand, it is necessary for companies to encourage constant experimentation, but inexpensive experimentation. On the other hand, an organization that admits error is an organization that is growing and therefore learns from failures. Finally, it is good for the organization to learn how to combine failed ideas to form innovative ideas.

However, only ideas are not enough to walk the path of innovation. Innovation is the creation of value through something new and useful.

There are three reasons why people latch onto ideation. One, ideation is easy. You can go into a dark room and all kinds of great ideas will come to you. Two, ideation doesn’t cost money. You can just sit in your office and think.

Three, only during execution do you see the conflict between the old and the new. Execution is not only dull and boring, it takes a long time and it takes resources. Execution creates conflict whereas ideation doesn’t.”

It is good, therefore, that in small organizations, there is someone who can mediate these conflicts and facilitate the development of structured processes that can lead to organization from ideation, through prototyping and user / consumer feedback, to sales.

During this execution period, ywe must think about costs and losses, in speed and quality, in lean and agile.

Everything is important in these moments of execution. The quality of the research, the effectiveness of the tests and the consumer / user feedback, or the way we think the design of our path and the way we want to grow.

We can only grow if what we produce or deliver really fits into customer needs or solve a perfectly defined problem.

It is good to remember that companies must also explore the terrain around problems that do not yet have a known solution.

So… what about our path?

A more strategic approach to innovation makes it possible to:

Become aware of trends that may affect our business;

Develop a greater capacity for assimilation (gradual process of evaluation and absorption of the best innovations, whatever the source) and better ability to listen to the customer’s voice;

Better understanding of white spaces opportunities and new markets;

Better understanding of organizational strengths and weaknesses.

Alignment of employees with strategic objectives;

Development of dedicated teams and strengthening the culture of innovation in the organization.

And, finally a reflexion!

“They have taken a long-since-solved mystery—they are often, but not always, the ones who solved it many decades ago—and have spent the intervening decades refining the resultant heuristic into an algorithm. They deal in reliability—the reliable reproduction of the desired outcome again and again at the largest possible scale at the minimum cost and with the minimum…

Go and hang out in the R&D department and look at the degree to which they are really just honing and refining existing products.” In many cases, the R&D department hones and refines, sustaining an innovation, rather than building a new business”- Roger Martin

Do you want to comment?


The path to a different thought must be built!

In a world where you can buy a shirt or set a table for dinner with just a few fingers on the screen, without leaving the sofa, managing or creating a business, and not finding a path to innovation involving technology, can be an organizational nightmare.

The ways most services are delivered today involves technology and an in-depth knowledge of end-users and / or consumers.

Today it is not enough to achieve excellent levels of efficiency and quality too occupy a place in the sun in the local economy, much less if we think of internationalization. Innovation is a concept that occupies a unique place in the creation or development of business.

Innovation is undoubtedly the most relevant competitive factor of today or a crucial factor for the survival of an organization. However, it is not always sufficient to have an organizational environment that is stick to incremental innovation and/or continuous improvement.

The world of consumers and users demands not only the satisfaction of their needs, but also their wants and the trends of the environments where they are inserted. But attention, these are orders impregnated with some traps.

In the different waves of cooperation and competition that organizations seek to surf, many managers, instead of developing their own identity and therefore unique, follow the path of “copy paste”, seeking to imitate good practices without the necessary adaptation to the its geography and its culture, but mainly without attention to the culture of its clients.

We must not forget that the context is king!

We must start thinking differently, that is, we have to think in an innovative way.

Learning to observe

We must practice some observational skills and develop a mental structure to address problems. We must really observe and stop to deduce, to induce, to conclude that … without observing.

To understand our organizations, we must carefully observe our ecosystem with its various levels of performance, i.e., individual level, group and organization system. Any of these levels is filled with interactions and input and output of information that deserve our observation. We interact in diverse ways such as employees, suppliers, customers, etc.

Ask questions

If we want to think in an innovative way we need to map this interactivity to make the knowledge and behavior of the elements of an organization manageable and to ask questions is a path that leads us to the creation of value.

Asking questions is also a way to clarify our responses to a problem or challenge that is posed to us.

“Innovation is only possible when challenging the norm and questioning a brief one has been given, becomes inherent to working when trying to find the best possible answer to a problem. – Christiane Drews

Today, we no longer treat information as a set of opinions received from various authorities, each in its discipline, to make a decision because, not being allowed cognitive conflict between these entities, the expected result will not be the most desired. Today it is necessary to create space to connect the points in common and to give place to the creativity. A decision should not result from a summation, but from the combination of the various possible perspectives.

What if…

It is good to think, or at least to try to make it so, that every question we ask can be a working hypothesis, and therefore possibly the starting point for leveraging organizational innovation.

The values ​​of dialogue and openness, also promoted by the Partnership for 21st Century Learning, involve communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity as the four key competences for the development of the learning society, unquestionable support to the development of any organization.

The critical thinking also referred to in the World Economic Forum of Jobs where the 10 main competences that are needed for students and workers in the digital and transdisciplinary world of tomorrow are pointed out.

By 2020, these competencies should include ability to solve complex problems, critical thinking, creativity, ability to coordinate with others, negotiation, cognitive flexibility, or emotional intelligence. It is a question of thinking differently, thinking in a more collaborative, creative, and interdisciplinary way, whether in academic research, teaching or with a view to professional integration into jobs of the future that are as yet unknown and to be invented. The trend is toward sound reflexivity on ways of thinking, being and doing, learning to learn with agility throughout one’s life, and solving complex problems in a rapidly changing world and not simply accumulating an endless list of disciplinary knowledge.”

Now let us think differently! Before we buy a startup, let’s try to innovate within our organization. Let us cross the skills and dreams of our organization’s employees and create the opportunity.


Do you want to comment?


Could the commitment to continually improving the performance of organizational processes be a path to excellence?

Perhaps! But we do not have to always choose among the best practices to adapt to our organization.

We can create something new! Doing better may also require an innovative mind and not just an always alert and proactive mind.

In our home, in the kitchen, usually the recipes we use can be delightfully traditional or surprisingly innovative and awesome. It all depends on the form (process), how we combine the elements and the quantities of those elements and on the times,  we dedicate to creation. Even so, sometimes we fail! But we also learn and improve our future action.

Among the models that organizations have at their disposal to embrace in their development is the EFQM Excellence Model. The fundamental concepts of excellence presented in this model can be the elements available and necessary to experience and create our working framework. To know:

– Leading with vision, inspiration and integrity;

– Sustaining outstanding results;

– Adding value for customers;

– Managing with agility;

– Succeeding through the people’s talents;

– Harnessing creativity and innovation;

– Developing organizational capability;

– Creating a sustainable future.

Today we are looking for a reconciliation between process-centered approaches and people-centered approaches to creating new and valuable things through interdisciplinary teams and collaborative methodologies.

Some people have a purpose for converging these two worlds, which can mean a new model created with the relevant points of each of them and where empathy plays a fundamental role.

Without empathizing, none of the above concepts can be truly developed.

To develop organizational capacity, it is necessary to listen to the organization’s employees, understand their wishes and needs, and design their work journey. In this way we are also building sustainable worlds.

To stimulate creativity and create value for customers, it is necessary to understand the needs not only of customers but also the favorable environments for the development of creative flows by the organization’s employees.

To manage with agility, we need to manage the talents and this is only done by wearing their shoes and walking their way.

Managing talent means creating purpose for commitment, recognizing the work of excellence and celebrating success.

It is good not to forget that any talent in an organization needs to develop:

“A posture (our perspective of the world and our role in it), the tools (the models we use to organize our world and our thinking) and the experiences (what built and developed our skills and sensibilities).” – Roger Martin – “The Design of Business”.

However, from the individual level to the group level goes a giant step, often facilitated by the understanding and acceptance of the different experiences and cultures that the teams in an organization incorporate.

Diversity and interdisciplinarity are concepts that appear linked to problem solving frequently and that deserve to be adopted early.

“Thanks to the Medici family and some others like them, sculptors, scientists, poets, philosophers, financiers, painters, and architects converged on the city of Florence. There, they met, learned from each other and break down barriers between disciplines and cultures. Together they forged a new world based on new ideas – what became known as the Renaissance. As a result, the city became the epicenter of the creative explosion, one of the most innovative eras in history.”- Frans Johansson, The Medici Effect

On the path to excellence, the success of an organization operating in multicultural environments depends on how leaders can integrate diverse cultures into their own leadership styles.

The evolutionary nature of our society, rich in diversity of cultural experiences, often raises questions about the relationship of people to each other and issues with the physical environments in which they are embedded.

To solve some of the problems that may arise in interrelationships and the integration of people in diverse environments, we must draw these relationships, and this involves paying attention to many different factors.

This diversity, which we see today in most places we know, has been ignored regarding its potential as a source of energy and creativity.

It is therefore important to emphasize that the complementarity that can exist between the members of an organization’s teams is essential for the promotion of ideas, continuous improvement and excellence.


Do you want to comment?


The teams of an organization move around three distinct environments, that is, people, processes and tools.

Most of the time, people stop looking at themselves and others and care on focusing their activity on processes and their choices on tools.

It is an interesting playful activity that leads people to adopt new trends in methodologies and processes or to find the coolest tool in the digital world, but we rarely see people on social networks or sharing platforms asking how one can we “improve thinking” or how to increase team member satisfaction (in addition to some team building experiences that are not well suited to contexts).

It is true that occasionally we see someone suggest different attitudes or call attention to the need to collaborate (implies dialogue) and to revitalize communication. Revitalize not the process itself, but the attitude towards the interlocutor and other teams that depend on our work or that are part of the same organizational system of our team.

We rarely hear anyone cry out that it is important and a priority to define problems well and frame them or contextualize them before we go on to discover solutions or innovative creation (redundancy).

We rarely hear a voice say to stop choosing in the storefront, which they prepared especially for us, and start building our solutions that give a full response to our problems and needs.

It is not usual to see one or more people in a team using a medium (critical thinking) to assess and improve their ability to judge well the options that are put to them, or built, to deliberate on a particular subject (evaluating alternatives, weighing one against the other, in order to make it possible to choose between them).

It is very rare to see someone express a desire for more diversity in the teams or to wish more interdisciplinary teams to avoid the predominance of the more homogeneous teams in the basic training or in the cultural network, but which, although usually more efficient in the execution, lose quality in creative problem solving and in the development of innovative products and services.

An organization that wants to use creativity as a lever for business success must constantly be looking for people with an open mind to collaborate with representatives of the various disciplines within and outside the organization.

After all it is this ability that distinguishes multidisciplinary teams from interdisciplinary teams. In a multidisciplinary team, everyone seeks to defend their own specialty and their techniques of choice, which leads to long-term approaches and probably weak conclusions.

On the contrary, in an interdisciplinary team, there is a collective appropriation of ideas with the transparent exposition of the positive points of the different ideas and a co-responsibility in the development of actions. In addition, contact with others causes self-reflection and allows confrontation with divergent thoughts that promote the coherence of the concepts.

We all know at what speed information flows and how cunningly it can be built and outdated constantly. This speed and the way we organize the data, when we want to make decisions, naturally implies moments of high tension and, therefore, relaxing is not a solution.

The tension within the teams when different elements need to decide must be managed in a way that benefits the team and the organization as a whole.

Most of the time these decisions are puzzling and challenge the combination of uncertainty, ambiguity, complexity, instability, and risk, and they also appeal to unique aspects of team experience as a cohesive group.

Often when we decide individually, we think about what will bring us the greatest benefits and eventually we are not aware of possible undesirable consequences for other people.

Thus, the best option is to work on the problem as a whole, paying attention to the diversity of factors and seeking to understand the complexity of causal relationships in the connections established in the organizational system.


Do you want to comment?


Where are we? Where do we want to go? How do we get there?


In many organizations, teams are the result of a gathering of people who will try to communicate and understand each other to produce something of value. Also, organizations often expect these teams to contribute to a greater good, which is to deliver value to their customers, being that they respond by making organizations earn some money.

Most of these people have passed through a well-structured selection process that has given them the passport to pursue an activity that will develop along with other people who have a similar range of skills. They may vary in gender, age, years of previous experience or even in the native language, but almost always have the same professional qualification seal (not the same as competence) and the same functional title. Diversity of skills in teams should require special attention to recruiters from organizations.

Once people are crowded together, sometimes with significant time intervals of entry, they are expected to begin to experience the work environment and allow for a period of adaptation. In some cases, they have a follow-up of integration in the organization, but after an initial contact they no longer relate to other teams and start trying to respond only to the requests of their internal clients.

In some cases, they may also have help in facilitating the development of business processes or mentoring, but there is often a lack of help in building a cohesive team with growth potential.

This is the scenario that we can glimpse in organizations that grow rapidly or in others already with some dimension. However, it is not only in mature organizations that building teams becomes a problem. With the outbreak of startups in the various possible scenarios of economic life, this problem of building effective and efficient teams (includes ability to adapt) has become more acute.

And why is that?

Because, on the one hand, there is a need to respect and benefit from factors such as inclusion and diversity and, on the other hand, there is a shortage of talent in the face of high demand from small organizations that are now being born and growing. This, of course, means that there is a lot of people mobility and therefore it is difficult to get teams to reach maturity, autonomy and excellence.

It is neither urgent nor important to solve the problem of building effective and efficient teams. It’s imperative!

Let’s face it! There are several reasons why we do not see many start-ups in the organizational world ranging from “ignoring customer feedback to not have the right team …”. There are still causes for failure the lack of passion or harmony on the part of its members, “disagreements between the co-founders, or between the start-up team and the investors” or “losing focus” on the project that they develop.

Solving the problem of team building necessarily must go through these aspects now referred in order to involve all team members in the efforts to adapt and fill identified gaps.

Empathic and constant communication with the market and with users and / or consumers should also be one of the objectives of any team in an organization, be it a micro or a multinational giant. The satisfaction of the needs and wants or desires of customers and users / consumers is fundamental to generate value and, therefore, to ensure the survival of teams and organizations.

Making the diversity of team skills a reality is an effort that should be required of all team members. Creativity and problem solving always go hand in hand, so the greater the range of points of view, the greater the number of relevant points available to build good solutions.

So how do you build a team that walks a line of learning not only with good practice but also with mistakes and that keeps the focus on excellence as it grows?

In addition to maintaining all the good features already mentioned (focus, diversity, people-centered, etc.), it is important that all team members consciously share a sense of individual, team and organizational purpose.

“A good organizational purpose requires the pursuit of greatness in service to others.” – Bryan Walker, Design Director of IDEO

Many of us have had the opportunity to reflect on the benefit of having a sense of purpose in our life and how it is critical to our well-being. It’s not important the age at wich this happens; the important thing is that it happens.

People’s lives become more harmonious and organizations deliver better results and better performance when the purpose that supports them is born in the interior and so is real.

Finding a purpose that can be a rallying cry for your team is one of the first steps in how to create transformational change in your organization. Why does your company exist beyond making money?”


Do you want to comment?


Simplicity is the most fundamental accelerator of focused action. If you can simplify your working environment without diluting your core capabilities, you can significantly boost your speed, productivity and effectiveness. When enterprises consider their investments in data and analytics solutions, simplification is absolutely essential to help control costs and focus on achieving desired outcomes.”

Be good at dealing with clients especially when they are difficult, being willing to fail and learning from mistakes, wish and work on continuous improvement, being open and adapting to change, working on personal and group growth or managing well financial resources may be some of the characteristics of a successful SME when the environment where an organization is embedded is stable and well-known.

However, in an environment where interactions are more complex and unpredictable, it seems to be simplicity that can most captivate each of an organization’s employees and customers.

Build trust and empathy

Making decisions or making choices (not necessarily the same thing) becomes increasingly difficult in an environment where the unexpected circulates freely and where the best elaborate predictions fail to minimize this difficulty.

Where there is instability and speed in change, simplicity is called for, since it is the only way to make time more profitable and to create harmony in the daily life of all the stakeholders.

It seems reasonable to say that we want simple products, simple guidelines, and we want things to work quickly and easily the first time we use them, without much effort.

So, to be able to propose what people want, companies, in addition to listening to all interested parties, also need to design their products and services from research on the needs and wants of the customer.

This research is also a source of trust that is established with the market.

Get a different perspective

To achieve “simplicity”, it is often necessary a hard work.

It is probably easy to imagine many simple situations that we had in organizations and that became complicated because we did not reflect on the advantages of simplicity and, therefore, of more difficult resolution after this inattention.

When we look at a pallet, a container, or a Lego game, we find that all these objects represent simplicity. They are objects that represent something like economic accessibility, guarantee of great capacity of realization of the intention of the organization, capacity of agglomeration and, therefore, scale or facility of planning, the same as saying, predictability of outcomes.

In organizations, especially when teams are interdisciplinary, and diversity is present, if organizational behavior is simple, it should remain simple, that is, with predictable results, without increasing resources, with a good response capacity and easy reorganization I the face of change.

If, on the contrary, we try to manage the complexity of people or groups of people, we must seek to know where the main function or ignition is, to increase the capacity to perform or to manage conflicts resulting from the interaction of people and things.

Being aware of yourself

But just because I am able and this works, does not mean that I will have to add something new as if the novelty were needed. I must focus on people and realize that they do not have all the same knowledge or skills.

Before presenting products and services to consumers and users, we must build a sensible hierarchy of characteristics in our market proposal so that users are not distracted by features or functions they do not need or do not want. After all, most of the objects we use in everyday life are not (or should not be) games with a high degree of difficulty of execution or with strong additive characteristics.

Similarly, for people who collaborate in organizations, heavy and matrix hierarchies should not be built to simplify the observation of authority and facilitate communication flows.

“Simplicity and complexity need each other. The more complexity there is in the market, the more that something simpler stands out. And because technology will only continue to grow in complexity, there is a clear economic benefit to adopting a strategy of simplicity that will help set your product apart. “- John Maeda



Do you want to comment?


In organizations, new products, innovative services, efficient and effective processes, disruptive technologies, sustainable business models, etc., rarely happen by chance! All this must be thought and designed!

The discovery of surprising opportunities is not done solely by serendipity. This discovery of unique opportunities is almost always the result of a creative work and a consistent, oriented and people-centric search.

We know that it remains a major concern that business failure is often the true return of innovation efforts and investment. At the root of this failure may be bad ideas, insufficient numbers of good ideas, support for misconceptions, an overly optimistic business model or with serious shortcomings, a lack of execution capacity or a lack of leadership preparation and of employees for the present market.

The ability to use white spaces

Often, or almost always, this failure is linked to the leadership’s lack of visualization of “white spaces”, where, with the insertion of pertinent actions, it would be possible to provide relief in the battle against adversity.

A “white space” is a place where a leader of an organization can discover unique opportunities. When a leader of an organization manages to use this white space, in addition to all conventional and formal management activity, he is creating an order that, although invisible, will improve the readability of any proposed intent or action.

Using this white space means that you are not solely dependent on a set of people, representing only a certain volume of data for analysis.

It is good to remember that the data represent the past, which always leads us to what should be done and not to what can be done.

This search for “white spaces” can be used to identify entirely new markets or can only be used to map incremental innovation in products or services in our organization.

It is true that when we respond to the appeal of a white space, a dramatic feeling takes hold of us, which takes us away from the routine and prejudices of the leadership booklet, but which, on the other hand, can be transformed into passion and energy, as we visualize the path to success.

By virtue of this call, we are challenged as leaders to become aware of our environments (white and black spaces), both internal and external, and to rethink the forms of control as well as to assume an attitude of openness and collaboration.

Distinct but complementary focuses

Whether it’s a small organization or a large one (whatever the metrics used), a talented leader will always find three distinct focuses to lead.

By looking for the space to develop his talent as a leader, and therefore, when seeking to unravel the paths to his organization’s development, a leader at the helm of a team or group is always confronted with his market.

This means that its focus is on finding the gaps in the markets, in the products or in the services, that may represent opportunities to create business models (improvements to propose or empty spaces to fill).

Above all, this is an approach to the unknown or hidden through a people-centered process. Here too, the unarticulated needs of the organization’s customers may represent a gap to be filled.

Another focus, directed to the internal dimension of the organization, will not only allow to identify the organization’s capabilities to deal with new opportunities or face some threats, but also to identify the white spaces in the competencies of employees and leadership.

When we point the spotlight at ourselves, we must be aware that some of our deepest fears may possibly begin to emerge and we will, then have, to turn them into levers for success. People tend to try to show themselves competent even recognizing a lack of skills in some areas.

Finally, when we try to focus on the future, we enter the path of prospects in strategy. “In our view, prospective methodology is fundamental to provide and systematize future visions in the form of scenarios and thus provide the decision maker with the fundamental and possible future elements that are acceptable, reasonable or plausible depending on the decisions of the present …”

Our starting point

When talking about future or prospective, our starting point can vary greatly, from a more analytical profile to that of the dreamer or visionary.

It remains for us to identify what our starting point is, our white space, how we fill it in and where we want to go.


Do you want to comment?


Try to make a reflection on the organization where we work so much can bring us a smile as a burden of unhealthy anxiety. It all depends on our will to win and want to be part of a process of transformation!

For example, in an organization, “Creating the right environment for innovators can help a company prepare for the future while running its core business for current success”.

An organization is a system, part of a larger (also systemic) environment where it is embedded. The deeper knowledge of this system and its subsystems, inputs and outputs, can lead us to a better understanding of our role in this world and the purpose of the organization in which we collaborate.

Getting to know the organization better allows us to develop some skills for the future, many of them transversal to the business domain of different organizations, and thus becoming more comfortable with possible zones of discomfort and extreme adversity that may arise.

Being able to build the future and prevent damage with disastrous consequences for our life and for the organization is a competence we can only develop when our knowledge of organizational and environmental complexity is high.

Creating a healthy and motivating environment, where we can develop our abilities and skills, is increasingly the result of living and thinking in a network and also, as a result of these connections, of influencing and involving others in the search for the meaning of things.

In this sense, the future has already arrived and probably brings with it the return of the middle managers able to “manage people”, a task that top managers seem to have performed with little success in many cases. It is worth noting that this does not necessarily imply a vertical hierarchy given the complex nature of formal and informal networks. Influencing becomes the true purpose of leadership that will eventually stop pursuing “being itself, charismatic or authoritarian” to become a strong manager in communication, able to give constructive feedback, resolve conflicts and make individualized learning.

Networks, as we know, are global and for this reason the influence we can print unfolds throughout the world. By being able to connect the various generations that make up the organizational world we are also taking the fundamental steps towards effective and rewarding leadership for all stakeholders in the organization and its environment.

So, what does it matter?

It is important to work on the inclusion of all generations in the actions that need to be implemented or developed, rather than merely observing them.

It is important to develop flexibility as a way to motivate all members of the organization. The concepts of agility, disruption and digitization still remain valued in the language of leadership and in most of the collaborators.

It is important to embrace the concept of “machine learning” and a greater understanding of (AI) artificial intelligence, since they can allow better management of organizations.

It is important to promote a climate conducive to the development of curiosity. This enormous need to find answers to questions or problems is often the main lever of scientific activity or innovation.

It is important to understand that the younger generations believe in generosity and perseverance and that these values, being respected, create bonds and a sense of commitment to the purpose of organizations.

It is important to develop interdisciplinarity by provoking the intersection of different points of view that will give rise to innovative ideas and to the creation of value.

It is important to develop a mentality of experimentation and learning, as a result of reflection and critical thinking.

Summing up:

It is necessary that the development of the new leaders or managers is not the result of any training package, but of a learning journey, multidisciplinary and tailor-made.

Preparing or building a leadership involves assessing the strengths and behaviors of a candidate, facilitating the building of skills to fit their needs, being willing to implement learning and sharing in the real world, building a “model” for assessing their progression, and giving feedback transparent.

Do you want to comment?


Innovation is a concept that occupies a unique space in the creation and development of business. Innovation remains, without a doubt, one of the most relevant competitive factors of today.

When companies follow the “copy and paste” trend in a new context to the detriment of their own unique identity, they are following the path of business in the amusement park. We must start thinking differently, that is, we must to think innovatively about products, services and work methodologies.

Innovation in organizations does not have to be just incremental, for example, in a nuclear product or service or only disruptive when a hackathon appears capable of providing a scenario previously unimaginable.

Innovation in organizations does not have to be in products or services and can be in methodologies of work, in business models or experiences of employees.

Innovation in organizations should respond to meeting the needs of all stakeholders (customers, partners, employees and management).

In a tradition (and therefore no innovation) that has lasted for some years, organizations are systemic entities, and to understand them we must go through the distinct levels of analysis that go from the individual to the organization, through the groups. Here there is always an input and an output.

Although these levels can and should be a benchmark, an approach to innovation in organizations should have a greater focus on the interaction and multiple inputs and outputs in information that the organization’s internal and external, formal and informal networks provide.

In the exercise of their activity, organizations should facilitate these interactions to manage the knowledge and behavior of the organization’s elements to innovation, be it incremental, disruptive or both.

The processing of data that may result in information to decide or to plan can no longer be a set of opinions from several different authorities, each in its discipline or silo.

Decision-making should not result from a sum of opinions but from a combination of opinions. Selecting the relevant aspects and making a difference, creating value, leads to innovative thinking.

We must remember that today data science is an interdisciplinary field and data scientists have basic skills in many fields adjacent to their specialty such as engineering, product management, math, business management, etc.

As one example, a fundamental principle of data science is that solutions for extracting useful knowledge from data must carefully consider the problem from the business perspective.  This may sound obvious at first, but the notion underlies many choices that must be made in the process of data analytics, including problem formulation, method choice, solution evaluation, and general strategy formulation.”

This truth may seem useful only to large companies, but it is not!

If it is true that large companies are the big beneficiaries of these data analysis processes, it is also true that the notion (knowledge and meaning) or environmental awareness where they are inserted gives SMEs an added advantage in the refining of products and services to customers and users, adding a non-visible value to larger companies.

This is because of their proximity to consumers, which allows them to transparently absorb the cultural values ​​and needs of the ecosystems in which they are inserted.

“Innovation is only possible when challenging the norm and questioning a brief one has been given, becomes inherent to working when trying to find the best possible answer to a problem.” – Christiane Drews

To find this answer we must recognize the need for a joint effort where there is collaboration and creation of knowledge that can lead us to differentiate between an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary team that, although not consensual, has more visibility, for example in the health area.

What is at issue here are questions of the territory of knowledge and its rationale.

While multidisciplinary “teams” almost always produce sums of knowledge for third parties, interdisciplinary teams have an advantage resulting from the formation of generalist competencies by team members when they have the possibility to discuss third-party interventions in their areas of expertise.

Interdisciplinary teams can be frameworks that provide environments that:

– Allow openness to new challenges.

– Allow us to think about the unthinkable.

– Favor the opposite perspective.

– Favor creative doubt.

– Open the way to boldness.

– Open the way to trust.

– Favor dialogue.

The innovation now has a “wardrobe” available to organizations that only the construction of the future will allow them to know the limits.

From mindset on mindset the interdisciplinary teams are there. From design thinking in problem solving to agile in “job to be done”, from incremental innovation to disruptive innovation, from defining customer needs to continuous improvement, from work methodologies to building collective intelligence or from data science to creativity in marketing.

Do you want to comment?


We have all experienced feelings of discomfort that result from two contradictory beliefs.

The existence of a dissonance, being psychologically uncomfortable, tends to motivate people to seek consonance, that is, to seek a zone of comfort.

In small and medium-sized companies executives do not deny the need to innovate to be competitive, but the risks that this may entail lead to a zone of discomfort.

To reduce this dissonance, people can look for new information that challenges the connection between innovation and competitiveness. This new information can serve to reduce the discomfort caused by the dissonance that some people experiences.

Phil Rosenzweig said: “It’s possible to believe honestly that you have a market-beating strategy when, in fact, you don’t. Sometimes, that’s because forces beyond your control change. But in other cases, the cause is unintentional fuzzy thinking.

Behavioral economists have identified many characteristics of the brain that are often strengths in our broader, personal environment but that can work against us in the world of business decision making. The worst offenders include overoptimism (our tendency to hope for the best and believe too much in our own forecasts and abilities), anchoring (tying our valuation of something to an arbitrary reference point), loss aversion (putting too much emphasis on avoiding downsides and so eschewing risks worth taking), the confirmation bias (overweighting information that validates our opinions), herding (taking comfort in following the crowd), and the champion bias (assigning to an idea merit that’s based on the person proposing it). “

It is relatively easy to admit that our business approach is made up of illusions, logic errors, and failed judgments that distort our understanding of the real reasons that determine an organization’s performance.

When, for example, a company’s sales and profits are high, people conclude that this organization has an overwhelming strategy, a leader with extraordinary visions, talented employees, and an excellent culture that even drives innovation.

But when the results are not so good, then the leader was not so good after all, the collaborators did not collaborate and the culture was fictitious.

What often happens is that little has changed, but the previously established image creates an aura effect, which is nothing more than an illusion.

In fact, there is a concern with the quality of decision-making, confirmed with research that indicate that cognitive tendencies affect the most important strategic decisions made by the managers of the best companies.

As an example, let us consider two cognitive propensities that are common and relevant in an economic context where innovation is the word of the day:

– Excessive confidence and cognitive dissonance. Both can bring discomfort!

Or maybe not!

If on the one hand, we know that an individual who has overconfidence overestimates the accuracy of their private information.

On the other hand, cognitive dissonance happens when we perceive an incompatibility of information elements that cause us tension, and to get rid of that tension we create the propensity to acquire or perceive information in accordance with a set of desired things.

If a consultant or an analyst issues a privately favorable forecast of high profits his tendency to interpret the subsequent information to support the information previously provided.

There is, however, another side of the coin in the cognitive dissonance that Javier Santiso, a ESADE professor, brings with great grace and pertinence.

“Yet perhaps the key to this successful repositioning lies precisely in the IMF’s ability to regenerate and subvert itself, i.e. to exhibit cognitive dissonance and innovation, not only by tolerating this internal dissonance, but rather by promoting it (Blanchard’s hire alone evidences this audacity).

This is a feat of great merit, since whether public or private, national or international, none of our institutions tend to favor dissonance. Very much on the contrary, they tend to limit disruptive, innovative potential.

Consider, for example, the remuneration of bankers via the (now infamous) bonus system, invented to reward those who have (supposedly) made money. Where are the reward systems for those who have avoided losing money?

Cognitive dissonance is as rare and precious as a white pearl. It is key to promoting innovation and to reinventing oneself.”

Probably we can see the parallel between the processes of Cognitive Dissonance, that is, experiencing incompatible cognitions and the need to reduce unpleasant feelings (act to resolve conflict) and the Creative Tension, that is, experiencing the difference between reality at a given moment and Desired result (acting to create something reduces stress).

We do not like to hear the cognitive dissonance say:

What I want is this…, But I do not have it!

To alleviate this discomfort, we must release energy and resources and put creativity to fill the gaps created by this dissonance.


Do you want to comment?

This text was inspired by an article of mine already published in this blog  to remember past learning.