one of the projects i am working on is putting together a framework for corporate innovation.
one thing’s for sure, this is no easy thing. but unfortunately – or fortunately – it is something of a must do. we as a nation are at a crossroad, and inflection point.
for the past several years, we prided ourselves as being a solid destination for foreign investment in manufacturing. our low cost structure, good infrastructure and investment friendly government policies helped to drive economic growth 1.0.
for economic growth 2.0, we realise that low cost manufacturing is something that we can no longer see as our strength. there are far too many countries that can manufacture what we do cheaper and faster.
we have no choice but to look at knowledge and innovation. these are two big words which mean many things to many people.
but in simple terms knowledge to me is the outcome of 4E’s: education experimentation experience engagement. it is about learning these things throughout our lifetimes.
innovation can be distinguished from invention as follows: invention is about converting cash into ideas. innovation is about converting ideas into cash.
the question is how to we create the right conditions in an organisation for knowledge and innovation to flourish and create value for the organisation’s stakeholders?
in truth, this is really a big question. and i will not be able to consider the various facets in one blog post.
so i will break this down into a journey of discovery. i hope that you can join me on this journey and perhaps engage and share your thoughts along the way.
for now, i would like to understand innovation a bit more.
BNET is a wonderful site for interesting management articles. a quick search on innovation on BNET brought me to the subject of Apple Inc.
how to innovate like apple: this article talks about apples ruthless focus on zen simplicity, its creative people, perfecting its small product line, setting out its own unique positioning, not being dictated by others, and learning from mistakes are what makes apple what it is today.
how to nurture new ideas: this article advises that idea development and innovation should be institutionalized at all levels as part of an organisation’s day to day practice. the other part is using problem solving & observing customer behaviours as vital processes to build new ideas.
four principles of apple’s success (and failures): provides four insights to how apple has carved its own space in the technology industry: leading customers by offering them a solution to their needs before they envisage it; mixing art with engineering; focusing on a very select target market, as opposed to mass marketing; and being very focused on beating their best benchmarks.