Six tactical tips to Innovation

"You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have." - Maya Angelou

Tactical innovation occurs when leaders set a ‘problem hunting’ objective. Here are six areas to hunt within.

1. Simplify tasks

Be obsessed with this: work that cannot be eliminated should be explored for automation opportunities. While analysing high-volume tasks, and if full automation is not an option, what automation could be used for part of a task?

2. Processes

Localisation creates complexity, and this complexity is often due to organisational customs rather than criticality. Uber invested in two areas: customer experience and scaling. As a result, it created an alternative to the taxi industry by not requiring vehicles—rather, the vehicles join the service. This process was so simple that it was globalised and rapidly adopted by consumers.

3. Intelligent data

Organisations capture, manage, and refine data. Very simply, there are two types of data: useful and non-useful. The data may or may not be big and may or may not be within a data lake, and sometimes both things confuse the intended outcome of the data. Develop an intelligence capability beyond the practice of data management, measure the intelligence gleaned from the data.

4. Digital basics

A digital fundamental should remove barriers that either create distance with end customers or keep you bound to a supplier or partner model that erodes the potential of a digital ecosystem that can scale globally.

5. Partners

There is a considerable amount of R&D investment within many global technology companies. Explore areas that intersect or overlap with existing services or products being offered that can scale and offer to pilot emerging areas of mutual interest. Avoid reinventing these as your organisation is unlikely to be able match R&D investment.

6. People

Reduce the isolation of employees and partners that may have different reporting lines by setting a common objective based on a shared area of work. When an objective becomes the overwhelming sense of a team’s collective purpose rather than their reporting line, problems are surfaced and resolved.