Structure it or not : But Innovate please !

Innovation as a buzz word has been around there for decades. In layman words, Innovation is all about a new “idea,” “method,” or a “product.” But there is much to Innovation than the understandable definitions and buzz words. If you look at the significant innovations in the last century, you see that they have drastically changed the way human beings live on this planet today.

On the famous site Toptenz, the ten important innovations of 20th century were :

  • Nuclear Power
  • Personal Computer
  • Airplane
  • Automobile
  • Rocketry
  • Submarine
  • Antibiotics
  • Television
  • Internet
  • Radio

Each of these inventions has been of paramount importance to us. Think about a world without any of these, and you would suddenly get a “Dark Age-ish” feeling running down your spine. Personally, to me, a world without the internet is unimaginable these days. However, it was not during maybe 1980s or even 90s. I can’t imagine what would we do if there are no antibiotics, I mean taking that significant risk to just over-do my antibodies and suffer in pain, I am def not in that gang. The only inventions that have no direct impact on me are Nuclear Power, Rocketry, and Submarine – but I do understand and acknowledge the importance of these innovations in building a prosperous, safe and robust economy in this connected world.

Now before these innovations, in the 19th century, if one would have joked at you if you would have said, “Hey, let me send an email to Napoleon and inform him of weaker security around Moscow and share the pictures of the border and even selfie with the Russians. It is hard to imagine right now, but it would be a hallucination or even a “mad thing to say” to him. And that’s the curse of innovation. No one can imagine and appreciate the idea of it and the reality it might bring before it is executed.

As they say, ” An idea is just a blank paper; execution is the words written by the pen of your strategic efforts.” When it comes to ideas, there are many people with crazy ideas coming to them in bathtubs, sleep, getting bored in a meeting, talking to your friends, and even surfing the internet amongst few other moments. However, it is of utmost difficulty to imagine the execution step by step for these ideas. Hence it is essential to have a specific mental framework that puts you into a thinking mode on how to execute these ideas step by step.

One of the debates in the execution of innovation is : “Should we go structured or we stay unstructured”. While there are merits and demerits of both, I believe whatever it is, it should have a direct impact on the KPI’s you associate with the execution of the idea along with the timeframe of the execution. While one may assume that structured approaches like “Stagegate” etc might be delaying the launch but on the same time a “fuzzy” and “Just Do It” approach might lead you to miss out on certain important checkpoints leading to a botched up execution that doesn’t lasts enough.

The topic of the innovation process is worthy of including in a complete book but as of for now , all I have to say is to have the basic parameters straightened out along with an idea : Have the right KPI, have the right target and do tell when are you planning to launch the product. That said, have a great week ahead !

The writer of this article is “Anand Arora, serial entrepreneur, marketer, R&D , innovator in ed-tech , FMCG and F&B industries notable working with brands such as Unilever, PepsiCo, YSchool, Edusquare , Perfeth amongst few .

Post a Comment