October 24, 2017

Applying Innovation

BY :     October 24, 2017

We, as a company, are always so fast and proud to mention that we apply innovation which is validated. But how do we, and you, make sure that this innovation works for you, in your case? Is it magic we deliver? Are we from the future? Or is there a more down to earth, more pragmatic way to deliver this promise?

‘In an ever-changing world’ – we used to kid in the past at the Innovation & Inspiration department as an opening of (an always true) story. It’s a fact, tomorrow will always happen. And, to no surprise, it will be different. Position new, exciting challenges for us and our organization. This is where we need to keep applying innovation to keep ahead, or get ahead, of competition.

Creating applied innovation that – simply – works is demanding and the appetite for success is extremely high. This also means that the risk of failure needs to be low. There is just no desire, no room, to fail. This feels, to me, somewhat counter-intuitive. Innovation should have plenty of room to fail. Failure should explicitly be an option. But, just maybe, not within applied innovation…

This means we need a type of innovation that has the explicit room to fail. We need to experiment. Innovation in such a way that we keep trying and trying. Taking a hypothesis and validating if it will work. Or better: try, or even, aim to fail a really good idea. Trying to make it ‘not work’. Trying to break it… Failure as a goal. Innovation with failure as a goal and success as a way out, that sounds like experimental innovation, don’t you agree? If it can no longer be broken it is ready to successfully exit the initial experimental phase. Experimental innovation as the incubator for success via the failure as a goal principle.

This way experimental innovation takes the risk and if it can no longer be broken it can be promoted, it can be applied. Applied innovation as the logical next phase of experimental innovation within the same innovation continuum. Applied innovation with value as a goal after experimental innovation with failure as a goal. Trying to create applied innovation out of the blue feels a bit silly now, right? Would you apply innovation that might fail? How do you make sure innovation delivers on its promise? I’d love to hear from you, Share your tips and insights below.

Arnd Brugman

About

Creative business technology management consultant with a major drive and passion for people value. Innovator with broad business and technology knowledge based on twenty years of experience in IT and fourteen years of management.

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  1. Thomas Wesseling · November 6, 2017 Reply

    Maybe start with clearer definitions of your minimal viable products and services when applying innovation. If you focus on a bare minimum in a relatively short period of time (to market) failures (and learnings) are less costly. Decisions to stop or change can be made on time. Failures can be acceptable.

*Opinions expressed on this blog reflect the writer’s views and not the position of the Sogeti Group