Most companies struggle to keep innovation alive. The future of an innovative idea or disruptive business opportunity is exciting. It can be difficult for teams to start.
Why? It's sometimes difficult to start and take initiative.
Atif Rafiq is a former executive at numerous large companies. He said, "A large pile of unsorted unknowns makes it difficult for innovation to take off."
He adds that business is always about making decisions. Many of these involve innovation. He said that executives are paid to make decisions, innovate and hold firm.
Craft A Problem Statement To Begin Innovation
Rafiq suggests that Netflix (NFLX), in framing the issue of password sharing, could be a problem statement. What is the fairest way to deal with password sharing between users? Rafiq is the author of "Decision Sprint": A New Way to Innovate into The Unknown and Move From Strategy To Act.
Uber (UBER), in an attempt to solve some of its problems, tried a traditional reward program. It failed. Rafiq stated that it launched a membership program instead. Rafiq stated that if the company had been guided by a clear problem statement it could have avoided having to restart its strategy for building customer loyalty.
Create A Great Question List To Develop Innovation
At the beginning of an exciting idea, questions always come in faster than answers. Rafiq says that the same is true when solving problems.
He said, "Ask the right questions obsessively." "Questions help to identify blind spots, which can hinder progress and undermine confidence in recommendations."
Rafiq, who was in the C-suite at companies such as McDonald's (MCD), Volvo or MGM Resorts MGM (MGM), would give teams an entire working session or meeting to collect questions. The time is not right to answer questions.
He said: "I have always seen a good question list as an indicator of progress in innovation."
Rafiq says that AI can help teams innovate by accelerating their speed.
He said that "anything that is understood by consensus on the internet is available," which is what systems such as ChatGPT mine. "We should tap it to provide the first iterations to our business queries."
AI can at least give us a hint as to what are the most important matters or factors we should consider. Rafiq refers to these as "AI-driven recommendations." These suggestions can speed up team learning and help avoid blind spots.
Create In-House Mentoring networks
Do not let new employees sink or drown. They may never be able to prove their worth. Soren Kaplan says that you can plant the seeds of future innovation by pairing up experienced people with recent graduates or new employees. Kaplan founded Praxie.com to help companies with AI. He is also the author of "Experiential intelligence: Harnessing the power of experience for personal and business breakthroughs."
Onboarding is accelerated. He says that it also accelerates the time for new and current hires to achieve peak performance.
Kaplan suggests that you should also look for individuals with experience in innovation and who are familiar with customer needs. The decision of who to select as leaders for new product and services development projects at an early stage is then easy.
Hiring Outside the Norm
Kaplan suggests that you should broaden your talent pool to include people who have not held formal jobs in the same field as a particular position.
Consider candidates with skills gained outside your industry. Consider candidates with skills gained from experiences outside your industry. This can include previous employment that is unrelated, life experiences or hobbies.
Santhi Ramesh is a good example. She was named as one of Forbes' most influential chief marketers. She has been successful in expanding the global business of food giant Hershey.
Ramesh draws on her unusual experience as a musician. This seemingly unrelated talent helped her excel at strategic marketing and innovative ideas. Santhi uses her skills as a violinist to help corporate initiatives. She also draws on the collaborative nature of playing with other musicians and the discipline and creativity required to be a good violinist.