Fixing a Problem is not Innovation

Don’t get me wrong. I do not demean the area of fixing a problem. But let us not confuse it with Innovation. Innovation (an egg waiting to be hatched) is about the birth of a new idea / concept. The emphasis of Innovation should be in ecouraging “Quality Delivered Right the First Time”. Which means, fewer or no problems. Like the famous T-Mobile Ad “Fewer Dropped Calls” means what? When you subscribe to a service and pay for it, you expect zero drop rate. How can a telephony company gaurantee that the dropped call did not cost the subscriber a million dollar deal? The call was worth just a few cents or dollars!!! Many companies in this economic downturn keep telling their people to be Innovative and Fix the Current Problems the company is facing. Let us understand two things from an organizational context very clearly. Problems occur in organizations because of Poor Leadership and Management. Never because of bad workers. Well, if it is because of bad workers, the leadership and management are still responsible for it because they hired them in the first place. On the other hand, Innovation always occurs in the working areas of an organization. It is an experiential thing…not an imagination thing as most people would have you believe. Innovation rarely occurs in leadership and management. Unless ofcourse, leadership and management are practitioners.

About Subbu Iyer

Subbu Iyer is an Innovation & Transformation Leader as with 28 years of serving customers globally. He is currently the Chief Designer & Transformer at Energizing Innovation, an enterprise that is being founded to facilitate continuous growth in enterprises and as a consequence create societal wealth. The Radical Shift that this enterprise intends to employ is focusing on the Potential rather than the Performance of a business. He has been a serial entrepreneur and an intrapreneur in his past life, having founded Nihilent Technologies and Nandaki Systems besides being associated in senior leadership roles with firms such as Coopers & Lybrand, Cambridge Technology Partners, Tata Consultancy Services, Wipro Technologies and Steria.
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One Response to Fixing a Problem is not Innovation

  1. Prakash says:

    Being innovative means innovation? I do not agree this completely, and certainly not biased by the dictionary definition of innovative and innovation. Innovative is probably a state in transition, when innovation is an outcome. So, asking employees to be innovative could also be interpreted, think for a new idea and making it success. And you are absolutely correct, where innovation occurs in the working areas of an organization. If the leadership can identify the area and guide them, they can still make innovations, despite being practitioners!

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