Even if your organization doesn’t yet have an embedded innovation program, I can guarantee that your organization cares about finding opportunities for savings. That’s why programs like LEAN and Six Sigma continue to do so well. There are always new ways to improve efficiency and time saved almost always means money saved.
Apple, Google and General Electric success stories centre on groundbreaking characters and geniuses. But 99% of companies worldwide are unlike any of these. Most organisations are made up of people like you and me: reasonably proficient in innovation management but surrounded by innovation agnostics. People who can share with us the tough, yet stirring mission of pushing boundaries to shape a bit of future.
Why is business innovation such a mystery? I think too many CEOs sign off on large R&D budgets and then cross their fingers and hope to see some real innovation come out of the black box. Why does innovation stand in such stark contrast from other facets of business that are managed and improved? Why don’t we apply proven management techniques such as lean and six sigma to innovation?
Successful programs like TQM, Balance Scorecard and Six Sigma dramatically improve quality and performance. They are designed to rightfully calibrate the hard asset issues of production. There is a serious lack of three dimensional modeling for soft issues, like innovative thinking and the dimensions of the core vision itself enveloping all production issues. These image supremacy rules challenge current methods and offer checklists to assess the need of newer, softer and special agenda-centric approaches.
Innovation never takes place in a vacuum cut off from other initiatives to improve performance. Doug Collins takes a look at how to team up with people in the Lean and Six Sigma processes.