Planning and assessment of initiatives

To distribute our energy along a path for building something new is not always an easy task.

No wonder, therefore, that many companies, despite being stuffed for talent, creativity and technology, will fail when trying to convert ideas into innovation by lack of management skills.

Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble, authors of “The Other Side of Innovation” at the beginning of their book give us an image of some climbers who, after strenuous months of preparatory work achieves its goal, that is, reach the top of the mountain.

But, as with many companies, and it doesn’t happen only in large ones, these “heroes” forget to create energy reserves for the descent path.

It seems to be a fact that, in all undertakings, often after a long way in the construction of environments for creativity and cutting-edge technologies acquisition, lacks an innovative management capable of sustaining the results of that effort.

How can we learn from mistakes or bad examples?

How we turn knowledge into creativity and creativity into innovation?

Creativity is an ability that can be developed and a process (preparation, incubation, illumination, and verification) that can be managed. This requires a consistent practice to develop certain skills and a favorable environment to grow and to consolidate capacities as, for example, be comfortable with uncertainty, ambiguity and with all what seems like a paradox.

Vijay Govindarajan points three steps to planning a groundbreaking initiative and for the assessment of its progress:

-The first is the formalization of experimentation. The basic principles for learning from experiences are easily acquired but difficult to follow.

-The second is the division of hypotheses. All initiatives, even the simplest experiences of innovation are very complex. There are always more than two uncertain assumptions.

-The third is the search for truth. Do not give in to pressures on organizations that push people to the interpretations of results that are comfortable and convenient.

It is very important that these pressures are understandable because they only be overcome when you meet balance between analysis and intuition, knowledge and creativity, people, tools, and processes.

While trying to confirm the need of that balance I just came across the words of Gary Hamel:

“The management model that predominates in most large organizations is now seriously out-of-date“.

In view of this observation becomes vital to reinvent the management so that creativity can be seen as a source of authority such as the knowledge and especially when this refers to practices that are not compatible with an open world.

Gary Hamel says that, as a result of the work of 35 experts, there is a need for a set of challenges to organizations which include these six:

1-   Eliminate the pathologies of the formal hierarchy. Natural hierarchies and advantages outnumber suffer not of historical mistakes.

2-   Redefine the work of leadership. With the emergence of teams with increasingly diverse skills and with the increase of possible connections leadership should facilitate the transit of information and lead it for the benefit of the team or organization.

Leaders must be recast as social-systems architects who enable innovation and collaboration.”

3-   Reduce fear and increase trust. With fear there is no creativity because people fear punishment and non-integration. The fear must be replaced by participation with responsibility.

4-   Expand and exploit diversity. Never the balance was so desired as a way of fighting the excesses of the analysis. But this balance can only be achieved when there is openness of ideas and a cognitive conflict which gives the refining of concepts and practices.

5-   Expand the scope of employee autonomy. If a previous challenge is not accepted, that is, put an end to the culture of fear, experimentation and creativity will not exist. The result will be the failure of innovation initiatives.

6-   Create an internal market for ideas, talent and resources. The Human Resources of the organizations have to worry more with the hiring of creative skills and not exclusively based analytical skills. Once again the balance is necessary, but that doesn’t mean you have to be 50/50.

These are some of the challenges that will be released every day if we want that the ideas overcome barriers due to its implementation.

The bet on creativity has to be done and win.

 

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