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October 27, 2022

Recharge with The Owls #2

Where does innovation start?

You and I both know the proverb: ‘Don’t re-invent the wheel’. Why spent time on making something that already exists? The development of the wheel was once a breakthrough like the driverless vehicle now. Underpinning such innovations is often a problem requiring an answer. It was probably triggered by the idea of the wheel or a driverless vehicle. That’s the ‘why’. The ‘why’ is often the starting point for an innovation. Recognise this from real life practice in your organisation?

In considering the ‘why’ the problem is defined within clear boundaries and from there into concrete objectives for a solution. The next six questions can help:

1.     What is the problem (or wish)?

2.     Which people (and how many) have this problem?

3.     Where did the problem originate?

4.     Why is it a problem?

5.     Where does the problem occur?

6.     What triggered the problem?

Of course, we can not describe everything as a problem, it may also be a wish to achieve something that is not there yet. For clarification purposes we use the word ‘problem’.

Describe the desired impact

From the moment you start this process, you probably have a clear picture of what you want to achieve at the end, the goal you want to realise. Apart from possible obstacles that you may encounter, you describe the desired solution as clearly as possible. The Owls have developed a Unique formula tot take you through the process from ‘why’ to the desired outcome. Contact us for more information.

From innovations on the work floor to strategic innovation

Innovations come in all shapes and sizes. Innovations on the work floor are not only important for the more strategic innovations, but the latter can also start on the work floor. According to Mintzberg (2009), there are 10 different types of organisations (more about this in another blog). One of these is the ‘learning organisation’. In this organisation, it is regarded as normal that innovations start on the work floor. It assumes that there are several people on the work floor who all see their environment in their own way, see chances en pass these on to their managers. This happens less in Western management culture than for example in Japan where this is more common practice.

A learning organisation in our own country

There are also learning organisations in Holland. A good example is Berhoven Hospital in Uden. Here, employees are free to share good ideas that improve patient care. Every suitable idea adds to the impact Bernhoven wants to create. The impact of a healthy Dutch society can not be underestimated. Want to know more about Bernhoven’s method? Read our case study ‘’A leadership prescription for healthcare’’.

Innovation is important, but…

Be honest with yourself! How many hours / minutes per day do you dedicate to thinking of innovative ideas to keep your organisation future proof? Many organisations would like to work on that, but don’t get around to it. And there are organisations that are not even aware of the importance of innovation and breakthrough processes.

To get you motivated, we summed up the advantages that will benefit your company or organisation:

1.     It is easier to meet your customers’ needs and wishes.

2.     it will improve your chances on the market and more things are possible within that market.

3.     spending time on innovation increases your employees’ creativity and problem-solving capabilities.

4.     through innovation your company will have a more distinctive profile.

5.     working conditions may be improved upon by innovation.

6.     other parties will be more inclined to form alliances with you…

…and we could go on like this if we wanted to!

It is not only essential that a company is aware of the importance of innovation, but it must also be able to make the desired impact with that innovation. It warrants research to find out if a company is ready for that. Early identification of whether your idea, vision, or innovation (awareness) is viable saves a lot of time, energy and money. The Owls help companies analyse to what extent an organisation is capable or realising impact, or the structured approach of your innovation process. Contact us to learn more about this or start with the quick scan to learn how innovative your company is.

The starting point for your company

We hinted at it at the start: the best innovations come into being because of problems, annoyances or wishes. For this reason, it is important to be aware of the possible impact of your innovation. Always scan your surroundings and study your environment thoroughly. Looking for inspiration? The Owls published two books on their website, covering organisations that have implemented break through innovations.  

Want to know more?

In our next blow we explain what innovation processes there are in in which order you can placed hem. Want to keep track of The Owls? Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. We will keep you posted on the world of innovation and creating impact[1].

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4190 CA Geldermalsen
The Netherlands


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