Innovation Is Not A One Man Show


By: Giorgos Sioutzos

When we talk about innovation we usually have in mind the image of a groundbreaking idea that comes to one person. A moment when a man’s creativity and imagination arrives at the peak. Innovation approach has certainly changed from that. Now we are talking about innovation management or leading innovation and academics have systematized the process by which new ideas are born and translated into practical results. Innovation as the main pillar of progress and survival of businesses in restless and in uncertain times we cannot rely on past ideas of some people. Instead, ideas must be produced through a structured and systemically approachable process.

Organizations have understood that they need to create these processes and strategies to induce workers to exercise the inherent power of creativity and innovation and even to come up with commercially useful proposals through a collective rather than individual process. Leadership today is about building an organization that is ready and able to innovate. Collectine genius is the shift in approaching innovation. Employees through organized procedures and a supportive culture are expected to be able to express their values and passions and share their talents. Innovative thinking rarely comes without diversity and constructive conflict. And indeed, innovative thinking is one of the skills we see in organizations that are able to be innovative. Discovering together and competing for ideas is the sort of great ideas to emerge and be used by organizations to help them in practice.

Leading innovation is a process and some necessary elements of that process are discussed follow:

Agile is a commitment in a culture which is the only thing that can bring change. Agile practices aim to bring the highest value to the businesses, focusing on people and continual improvement through iterative, commitment-based approaches. Activating teams that work together in business and IT are always challenging for big business. Once a business stops focusing on the end-user value, employee disagreement is encouraged. At this point, businesses are experiencing ambiguity and great change, while unpredictable economic environments need to find a way of managing them effectively for these traditional challenges. Agile is the best way for a business to keep up, adjust and respond to change, and Agile methodologies are more than just suitable to drive businesses and help them develop innovative products and services.

Creativity except generating fresh ideas has to do with the assessment of the alternatives, the choice of the best and its implementation in order to achieve the goal set. This evaluation process is the second stage of creative thinking and involves mental processes that are activated in the frontal cortex and have to do with executive functions. It has been found that the frontal cortex regions are triggered in these assessment procedures by facilitating the executive functions, which evaluate the data, filter the information and control the behavior. Thus, creative individuals seem to be able to regulate their mental processes more effectively. In the early stages of brainstorming, they lower the threshold of control to free their thoughts, and in the next stage exercise the necessary control over thinking and behavior using their executive skills to make it possible to apply these ideas. Its ability to regulate the degree of control in the mental processing of information is known as cognitive flexibility.

The long-term horizon requires the constant search for executives who respond to both the vision and the future needs of the business and the market in which it operates. As these needs are not so predictable, the firm’s continued readiness to maintain high adaptability and responsiveness must be pursued, with a powerful learning mechanism, reflexes and skills that increase their self-confidence. This requires a substantial change in the style of management that turns the manager into a person who can inspire a vision for the team, and at the same time it is the connecting link. We can say that this kind of manager is essentially the one that makes it easier for the team members to show off their talents and to believe in themselves.

Giorgos Sioutzos
Business Analyst


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