Sunday, 18 July 2010

Secret to Successful New Product Innovation: Keep the Boss Out of It

Interesting report by Nielson presented the other day here. The basic question is: why are some organisations better at innovation than others? The result of their study looks provocative at first:
"One secret appears to lie in the degree of senior management involvement in the creative process."
I'm happy to stop the ball rolling there and enjoy the point-scoring, but I think there's a much more important point made in this report:
“New product development success comes down to two important principles - - managing ideas lightly while managing the process precisely,”
This is important. Successful innovation is the intelligent application of creative thought.
  • Creativity is about making new connections and doing something with them.
  • Intelligent application is about persuading the creative process to do something useful with them.
You'll notice the active verbs involved here.

Library services aren't alone in the public sector in tending to manage ideas precisely while managing processes lightly, if at all. It's a habit we could usefully unlearn. Library service managers who organise and unclench can optimise the potential of both their workforce and their service. The ones who don't will struggle.

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