Innovation has become a buzzword in business of late and as someone who has “Innovation” in their title, it is a task of mine to grasp what exactly innovation means to us at LIVE+. To us, being innovative means being creative problem solvers, always placing human connection at its centre.
During a recent move, I came across one of my university set-work books (that admittedly, I skim-read at the time) called The Ten Faces of Innovation written by Tom Kelley. It gave me a whole new context to what innovation meant and the differing roles team members can play. Within the book, Kelley identifies 10 personas that play a role in establishing innovation in an organisation or for a campaign. The book is highly regarded by the likes of Seth Godin and Tom Peters.
I was surprised to find that my role as Innovation Architect at LIVE+ had been described perfectly in Kelley’s Experience Architect persona. “[Experience Architects] are people who focus relentlessly on creating remarkable customer experiences, [they] set the stage for positive encounters with your organisation through products, services, digital interactions, spaces or even events.”
There is however, an understanding needed for organisations that innovation is something that needs to be embedded into a culture of an organisation to be successful. Innovation is not a flick of a switch, it is a process and requires an implementation plan much like any business function, it needs to be woven into the business’ modus operandi. It is crucial that organisations understand their business in its current state, identify weak points that require action and fix them before bringing new pieces onto the game board. As Adrian Gonzalez, a supply chain and logistics analyst, put in an article recently, “If you can’t execute the small stuff, you can’t expect to innovate.” Organisations require a comfortable level of operation that pushes them into the need to take that step into innovation.
Innovation requires intent to be successful. As Kelley puts it, “It is not good enough to just have a good idea. Only when you act, when you implement, do you truly innovate.” In a combination of learning, organising and building, any organisation, regardless of size and industry, is capable of being innovative and ahead of their competitors. As any business function, innovation needs to have a positive impact on the bottom line to reflect success.
KELLEY, Tom. (2006). The Ten Faces of Innovation. London: Profile Books.
GOZALEZ, Adrian. (2014). Forget Innovation If You Can’t Execute the Small Stuff. [Online]. 23 March 2014. Available from: http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140323130651-1306443-forget-innovation-if-you-can-t-execute-the-small-stuff?trk=mp-reader-card [Accessed: 30 April 2014].