Innovation Management Print
Wednesday, 11 March 2009 12:19

For many, managing innovation seems impossible - innovation is a spark of genius, a “eureka” moment that happens when you least expect it. So how can Streamline help your business become more innovative?

So, is it possible to manage innovation? A whole new consulting industry has grown from the principle that you can. Management experts and Harvard professors have published hundreds of books and articles on the subject of innovation, new theories on disruptive innovation, purposeful innovation and fostering innovation. In many cases, the theories and ideas are not necessarily new, just revamped with new terminology and some updated concepts.

Innovative thinking and invention is what drives human development and evolution and is nothing new. This does not mean that the theories are irrelevant. In fact, it is possible to manage and foster innovation and it is becoming necessary to do so effectively if your business is to remain competitive. Pixar called it collective creativity in a recent Harvard Business Review article. Pixar believes in giving creative authority to the project leaders, has processes in place which encourage peer support for work-in-progress and removes the barriers which exist between different disciplines in the business. In this way, they consistently deliver movies which, not only win awards but are also box-office success stories.

So what does this mean? More and more businesses are realising that getting as many people working together on a problem is the answer. Even those from different departments or professions can come up with the solution that leapfrogs the competition.

Innovation doesn't just happen as a result of a brain wave. The unexpected can lead to innovation - for example the failure of Ford's Edsel led Ford to develop the Mustang (and became an auto legend of note). Without the failure, they would not have noticed changes in the way people buy cars. Any change or difference or new knowledge can be the spark that lights the fire of innovation.

Not all inventors gain the benefits from their inventions. Simply having a good idea is not enough. The key to taking advantage of these opportunities is taking calculated risks and learning to recognise the opportunities for what they are. This requires analytical thinking and strong leadership to make a successful product out of a new idea.

So, where does Streamline come in? Managing innovation is about creating an environment where ideas can be shared, a process for new ideas to be given the room to grow and the leadership to take calculated risks. Products such as Streamline can help you in creating a online discussion forum, tracking progress made on projects and allows for teams to be created to discuss and collaborate more freely through Streamline.. Why not start a discussion today on Streamline and get some creative juices flowing?