Thursday, December 22, 2005

Think Different

Innovation is the core for success in today's rapidly changing world.
The situation is either Innovate or Perish.
Organizations and People who have kept up to innovation have always been able to manage change in a better way.
Plenty of real time examples are in galore.
Innovation is nothing but changing for the good.

At the organization level, its about doing products for the customer's need. Gone are the days when people bought products that were manufactured. But today's manufacturing is defined by customer's need. Most organizations which have understood this have been successful players.
At the workplace, innovation is doing your job in a better way, which is usually a different way. After all, one cannot reach a different destination by walking the same route everyday.For companies, innovation allows them to stay a step ahead of competition. Anil Chopra, National Marketing head of Anchor Daewoo Industries feels, companies that introduce customer friendly products regularly carry that feel good factor about them. Says he, "Any innovation, even a small way is profitable. The consumer realises that the brand is continuously doing something for the consumer, which shows that the company cares for them." On an individual level too, being innovative in your assignments, portrays your involvement. Now, which employer would have a problem with that?Companies appreciate employees who think out of the box. In technology-driven sectors like Telecom and IT, companies regularly reward winning ideas that help them better their products. Dishing out bonuses on performance, rather than tenure, is again a company's way of motivating employees to improve themselves continuously. Says, T Sriramkrishna Mohan, Manager HR, Tata Teleservices, "Companies are always taking a closer look at employees who have delivered an exceptional performance, well aware that any exceptional performance happens only when an employee thinks differently".Today, companies have begun recognising an individual on the basis of new ideas he comes up with. Innovation need not be limited to any field or level. A shop floor worker in a manufacturing unit has just as much scope to innovate as a software programmer. If a shop floor worker finds a method whereby, he can skip even one step in what would otherwise be a five-step process, it would be an innovation. It is easier to come up with bright ideas without the pressures of having to do so. This way, any innovation would be a value addition to the current job. A few tips:• Develop the idea. Most products and processes that we take for granted today were thought of while their inventors were actually working at something else. They became success stories because their inventors worked on developing these ideas.• Innovative always. Novel ideas generally come about only when individuals are placed in problematic circumstances. For instance Hutch came up with the idea of mobile service stations, as it was not economical to set up full-fledged service stations in far-flung areas. But this need not be so. Try to think towards improvement even without problems.• Train yourself to think differently by constantly looking at alternative methods for doing things. Start with smaller assignments like a departmental presentation.• Learn from others and improvise. Being involved with the team is how the top management usually comes up with the one winning idea. Even if it is not the Vice President's idea, he is involved with the teams that are working at it.• Learn to live the situation. This would give you, a fair idea of what process or product could actually make life easier. Then all you need to do is apply the logic on a larger scale. For instance, It was when Sony Corporation's founder, Akio Morito missed listening to his favourite music while playing golf, that the need for portable music was felt. And Sony introduced the walkman.

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