Innovation comes from everybody in every manner of life across the business, and we want to make sure that everyone feels that they are empowered to innovate.
In my last blog, I introduced the concept of unstructured and structured work, and I discussed the difficulty companies have in crossing the divide between the two. I’d like to delve deeper into that space in the middle, the “black hole of collaboration,” where so many great ideas disappear.
When we step back and take a 10,000-foot view of what happens when we move ideas from the unstructured side to the structured one, we see a process that seeks to identify the high-value ideas. We are picking the horses we want to ride, so to speak. Once we pick the ideas we want to pursue, that’s when we move into the structured phase of work.
While we’re in that evaluation process, we’re constantly editing and revising, which is accompanied by a natural state of proving and disproving. It is this iteration and testing — what I would call innovation — that enables us to define the value out of the vast number of opportunities that we have in front of us.
People have different definitions for the word “innovation,” and I’ll be the first to admit that the notion of innovation is a catchphrase that’s overused in technology today. But I want to propose a definition that helps ground how we solve the problem of helping people be more innovative.
Dr. Carol Kinsey Goman has actually done the work for me. She describes innovation as “people using their imagination, experience, curiosity, instincts, and relationships to develop and implement ideas that create value.” And in this definition, Dr. Goman bridges two really important thoughts:
One thought is that there are moments of work that are creative, that are imaginative, that are instinctual, that are curious. No one in any successful business will discount those qualities or say that they ever could have achieved success without that. They’re fundamental to business success.
The second thought is that, at the same time, we need to measure whether those ideas are successful or not, and whether or not they create value. The analytical, objective view of “this worked and that didn’t” collides with curiosity and creativity–and that is where innovation comes in. Those two very different sides of the coin, the objective and the subjective, come together through innovation.
At Bluescape, we’re trying to make this real. We’re helping people capture their imaginings, their curiosity, their creativity, and put that into a space where we can help them develop and implement those ideas to ensure they create value for their company.
We’re making the creative measurable by “capturing innovation.” And a fundamental part of what we’re doing is building a platform by which our customers can bring their own technologies to this and still get the benefit of crossing that unstructured to structured divide.
How are we going to do that? Well, first of all, we’re define who that customer is. And so for us, it’s important to recognize that often times innovation is seen as the wand of the executive, or of the creative, or of the product organization, and it’s simply untrue.
All those great ideas are going to come from everywhere and everyone. Whether they’re in the conference room, or on the road for sales calls, or working remotely, we want to connect all of these people. Bluescape does that and it’s designed to reach across those business boundaries. And to meet our customers wherever and however they and their teams innovate.
By Josh Ulm, User Experience Design Advisor and Demian Entrekin, CTO
Creative Thinking for Those A-ha Moments, Part I here