Gartner research shows innovation isn’t about being connected, it’s about having the right connections
From Gartner's CHRO Quarterly magazine: "Network Innovation in the Digital Age"
Contrary to popular opinion, Gartner's research shows individual innovation strategies (i.e. hackathons, personal innovation-time) and even dedicated agile innovation teams move the needle on innovation effectiveness (IE) by only 6%. By contrast, network innovation increases IE by 24%. Organizations can foster this by helping people create and leverage the connections they need to socialize their ideas, generate buzz, penetrate silos, and gain executive support.
Organizations moving away from productivity and revenue KPIs in favor of customer experience; Innovation may suffer
Employees will always be a critical factor in any innovation program – both coming up with new ideas that address real problems and seeing them through to fruition,” says Neil Sholay, Vice president of Innovation, Oracle. “But they need an effective and supporting culture of innovation to be successful.
A new study from Oracle shows companies are not prepared to innovate. Mostly they lack commitment and clear ownership. The result is failure to follow through on more than half of proposed innovations. Perhaps worse, the emphasis on customer experience as KPI, may be at the expense of employee engagement. Only 44% see organization pipeline as key to innovation and only 41% consider the impact of company culture.
“Big teams take the current frontier and exploit it,” Evans says. “They wring the towel. They get that last ounce of possibility out of yesterday’s ideas, faster than anyone else. But small teams fuel the future, generating ideas that, if they succeed, will be the source of big-team development.”
The researchers looked at more than 65 million scientific papers, patents, and software projects from the past six decades. They concluded that disruptive ideas overwhelmingly come from small teams. But here's the catch, when small teams are funded by large government funds, they lose their advantage and perform no better than large teams.
"For some people, “open office” means tearing down the walls, installing benches, and giving workers the option to sit wherever they want—as long as it’s somewhere in the big open space. For others it represents one choice in an ecosystem of workspaces that allow people to work wherever they want."
The debate about "open offices" is more about semantics than workplaces. Before we start the bashing or praising, we need to get on the same page about what it means.
This article suggest we focus instead on creating places that cover these "seven critical c's: concentration, contemplation, collaboration, creativity, conversation, community, and caffeine.
When we play, we improvise, imagine, and inspire—all of which is good for business. Here’s how to add playfulness to business strategy.
The article suggests that somewhere between improvisation and imagination lies inspiration and play is essential to all three. It asserts that play is not the opposite or work, that's leisure. Play is part of productive work, especially where innovation is concerned. To encourage an atmosphere of play, the authors suggest we:
- Eliminate the risk of rejection or embarrassment
- Forget about goals; only then can your mind wander
- Create boundaries, areas where play is welcome and encouraged
- Encourage spontaneity and impulsiveness
- Be patient. Sometimes play yields great new ideas and sometimes it doesn't, at least not right away.