HOW I MET INNOVATION
When in college, you tend to hear “you will understand this when you get a job and start working”. Well, it is completely true. For instance, attending an innovation and entrepreneurship subject can give you some ideas and guidelines. But only when you start an initiative or join an innovation department you really understand how things work. I used to think that I knew how a Business plan had to be done, but there are so many ways of raising it.
I am still in college, but the past November I started working full time in a company named Idneo. The innovation and design department is where you will find me. What I have seen is that innovation is key and can drive changes at all levels. From technological advances like 5G or AI, to companies restructuring their internal logistics. New education methodologies or just innovating in the way you personally think.
Most of us know that companies use to innovate through the R&D department. Meaning that they dedicate resources and time exclusively to investigate and develop new or existing products or services. This type of activities move toward performing sustaining and/or disruptive innovation. Maintaining short and long term innovation in their products and/or services.
But are these departments really optimizing the final product at its best? And taking the maxim benefit from innovation? The problem is that usually R&D engineers are too focused on the final product and the specific tasks they have to complete. Ignoring key aspects that make the product valuable. User Experience is one of them. One thing that I have learned is that in all the developing process clients opinion has to be taken into account. For example, in Idneo we always try to understand which are the needs of our clients and the end users of our product/service. Performing all the changes needed to fulfill the clients criteria.
The innovative culture is a must nowadays. But is really important the proper implementation of it. Boosting an innovative culture can help companies obtain better results. For example the application of the design thinking methodology. The aim of this is to identify “the job to be done”. The process first steps is to detect which is your client. Then create and analyze the customer journey from the client’s point of view. The more objective and experimental the customer journey the more realistic will be. Then, the best solution fit to the clients needs will be created.
From what I am experiencing, the innovation department does tasks for almost every department of the company. It is considered a transversal capability. Potentiating every project at the early stages in order to fit in the most optimal way the client needs. It also prepares and imparts workshops for the different business units. The objective of this workshop is to wake up employees from their daily routine. Making them think outside the box but always based on their business unit. Furthermore, an entrepreneurship initiative has been started named idreamers. This is imparted by a well-known strategic and innovation consultant and the Idneo innovation head. Together, they lead a group of people from different backgrounds inside the company. With the aim to develop an innovative product with these idreamers coming from different departments.
All company types have trouble when applying innovation. Starting with the people that call themselves innovator leaders. Routines and the company culture are the main issues that meddle in this process. In order to overcome this, all the parts of the organization have to become implicated in this process. The rate of success when implementing this innovation culture will always have a positive impact in the business.