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.
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