Innovation is a cornerstone of business growth. We can all agree on that. Managing innovation with defined business processes can be a dicey proposition, however. Here is an interesting article from the October 11th, 2007 issue of The Economist which tackles the topic from several angles. It’s a fun, quick read… this excerpt for example:
Yet innovation remains a frustratingly fuzzy notion. Many bosses think it is essentially a creative process. Some anoint “chief innovation officers”, bring in consultancies or set up secret “skunk works” to tease out the ideas they fear their own bureaucracy might squash. One senior executive maintains that innovation simply cannot be defined exactly, but that “like pornography I know it when I see it.”
The author raises the idea that building processes to generate more innovative ideas can actually be counterproductive. Most people naturally think that’s what the innovation game is all about. In fact, the more important process to perfect is your team’s ability to kill off ideas and quickly down-select to the few best choices for action. While this article is written from a larger business perspective, that sounds a lot like the whole nitty gritty point of upfront CAE to me.
Read the article here… Innovation: A dark art no more