Generating New Ideas

Many of the best ideas come from “happy accidents’. Often, individuals or small groups are simply “freelancing”, working on ideas on their own. Many good ideas die short of development and miles from commercial success. In most companies, the “practice” of innovation is infrequent, ineffective, and unsystematic. To create successful innovative ideas, the following steps to be followed:

* Involve everyone in the quest for ideas
* Involve customers in your process of generating ideas
* Involve customers in new ways.
* Focus on needs that customers don’t express. Focus groups provide feedback only on existing ideas.
* Seek ideas from new customer groups.

Organizational networks are a major factor to successful innovation. Rycroft and Kasha argue that the management of such networks differs, depending on the kind of innovation being pursued. In times when incremental innovations are the norm, managers should allow self-organization to occur; this is the process by which networks re-order themselves and their knowledge into more appropriate structures without the guidance of management. When major technological changes are on the horizon, however, the role of management changes. Managers need to guide organizational adaptations that are essential to acquiring and creating the knowledge needed to innovate successfully. Tata Steel does this with employees-‘Manthan ab Shopfloor se’!

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