It is common knowledge that organizations thrive best in competitive markets and fast changing environments through constant innovation. Yet too many organizations face a number of serious obstacles when it comes to promote and foster an innovation-friendly culture.
These obstacles include but are not limited to:
- Lack or non-alignment of vision, strategy and execution
- Bean-counter view on cost cutting and short-term financial figures
- Focus on processes and business goals rather than customer outcomes
- IT spending channeled into maintenance of status quo
- Functional borders preventing effective communication
On the other hand, the sources of innovation are also well known and innovation itself is not a matter of geniuses or major breakthrough inventions. More often than not innovation happens gradually and even inadvertently on all levels inside and outside of an organization. Major sources of innovation and contributors of new ideas are among others:
Therefore organizations that want to remain competitive need not only to think about reducing costs but more importantly how to use IT to enable existing knowledge and potential for innovation. They need to understand the immense opportunity for change that information technology can provide when it is used to empower people to improve business processes and to reach transparent strategic goals defined by management instead of disenfranchising them through process management bureaucracy. Only businesses that manage to use technology as an innovation enabler are shooting past those that control IT and/or processes by using defensive business models such as governance, centers of excellence and best practices.
Top-down business transparency ensures that knowledge workers understand why they are doing things, and real-time process transparency enables effective cross-functional communication and allows process owners to intervene immediately when customer quality assessments are poor. Process adaptability allows organizations to yield the results of collaboration and social interaction and to move the process creation and innovation into execution through a well-defined architecture of entity relationships and states, as the prerequisite to define outcomes, targets, goals and rules. These Adaptive Processes enable bottom-up transparency for the process owner and social coaching of the performers to push outcomes in the right direction. All dependencies and responsibilities are immediately transparent to anyone with sufficient authority. Rather than to waste a lot of energy to try and enforce predictability, Adaptive Process enables businesses to utilize the power of emerging processes.