Genudgivelse: What does Innovation Taste Like in the Future of Work?

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Dette blogindlæg er en genudgivelse fra et tidligere blogindlæg på LinkedIn. Blogindlægget er fra den 13. december 2017. Genudgivet her, nu et år efter. Intet i teksten er rettet siden det originale blogindlæg.

 

Recently, I have come to learn more about the five guiding principles of the Future of Work as well as Innovation. The possible connection between the two caught my attention and focus, as we in Bloch&Østergaard decided to make a deep-dive into innovation:

In an ever-changing world, how can we be better at aligning innovation with the Future of Work – and see it as an opportunity, not a demand for survival?

In this post, I’ll address the five guiding principles of the future of work as presented by Erik Korsvik Østergaard in his upcoming book. I’ll then apply the taste of innovation to each of the five principles, to see how they fit:

  1. People first
  2. Purpose, meaning, sense-making and value-creation
  3. Continuous innovation and experimentation
  4. An insatiable drive for results
  5. Everybody has the possibility to take a lead.

These guiding principles are a codification of the future of work, based on numerous observations and transformations projects in large organizations. They are the foundation and what we should base the mindsets and all subsequent skills, behaviour, elements, tools, and actions on. We are living in a world with both challenges and huge possibilities. Our task is to seek out these possibilities and adapt to the frequent changes.

 

HOW CAN THIS BE DONE, YOU MIGHT ASK?

With innovation. Innovation must bring people first. Innovation must be meaningful, create value, and bring us closer to our purpose. Innovation must create results. And most importantly to remember: Innovation can be led by everyone.

This means that innovation moves away from being somethings done in R&D or by a few selected. It moves closer to all of us. It moves closer to our everyday activities, making small adjustments and adapting continuously.

Let’s have a look on why and how you can align your innovation activities with the five guiding principles of Future of Work:

1. PEOPLE FIRST

We’re here to solve problems for people, not to sell products without purpose. You must create a mindset of experimentation and no-blame culture at the same time. It’s okay to take chances and to invest time in innovation if you ensure learning. Innovation also brings safety and trust in the future, because you keep staying relevant to the customers you’re also in business in the coming years. Look at your current innovation processes. Do you bring people or product first?

2. PURPOSE, MEANING, SENSE-MAKING AND VALUE-CREATION

If you want to keep creating value and making sense, you need to be innovative. Any innovation activity is designed with the employee or the customer in mind – that is, to keep solving their problems or to exploit a new possibility. All in all, it’s about supporting the purpose and creating value.

If your need a tool to help you map your innovation activities, I would recommend you take a look at The Innovation Matrix and this blog about how to use it.

3. CONTINUOUS INNOVATION AND EXPERIMENTATION

This is maybe given, as it is the very core of it. But how can you start experimenting in your daily tasks and figure out ways to learn new things that eventually will contribute to your innovation initiatives? Maybe you could get some speedboats in the water and let them sail for 10 or 100 days, before they come back and show what they have learned?

4. AN INSATIABLE DRIVE FOR RESULTS

You want to stay relevant to employees and to the customers, and to make results and create value. To do this in a constantly changing world, and to exploit the many opportunities you must engage in innovation activities. This applies to run, grow, and transform the business (once again, check out The Innovation Matrix).

5. EVERYBODY HAS THE OPPORTUNITY TO TAKE A LEAD

Yes, everybody is encouraged to be innovative in their everyday business life, and in strategic changes. It’s like what Ashok Krish* said on stage at Global Peter Drucker Forum 2017: “Technology is not the innovation, but how it enables people, is”. What will you be able to do if you focus on how to take lead on opportunities instead of focussing on the product or technology itself? Give employees the opportunity to take a lead, to experiment, create speedboats to run, grow or transform your business.

*The quote by Ashok Krish is from the plenary about ‘Unleashing Innovation and Entrepreneurial Potential in Organizations’ at Global Peter Drucker Forum 2017 and have been written down from notes and memory. This is a link to all our take aways from this years forum.

So, what can you do today to start using the 5 guiding principles in the future of work together with a little taste of innovation?

If it where up to me, I would start by looking at your organization observing and looking at how things are done today. Do you bring people first? Are you making innovation meaningful? Do you create value and does your innovation initiatives bring you closer to your purpose? Does it create results? And can everyone lead innovative processes?

If all your answers are yes, then you are already a star. If some of the answers are no, that’s where you can make a difference and start making changes in your organization.

What are you waiting for?

 

Read more about innovation and the future of work at Bloch&Østergaard.dk

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