I often get asked how organisations can build a more innovative culture. It is a valid but difficult question to answer as culture is something that is multi-faceted, involves history and legacy, and includes a set of deeply-held values.
Do you consider yourself innovative? This question usually elicits a negative response for two reasons. First, people tend to wrongly equate innovation with only technologies, research and development, and new products. Second, innovation is misperceived as the domain of a select creative few.
A Singaporean friend recently shared that despite having a stable corporate role, she missed the challenges involved in running her own business. Despite two previous entrepreneurial failures, she was keen to go back to managing start-ups. Why? Because she has grit.
So what is on the mind of the Singaporean manager? Plenty, shows the Singaporean Management Agenda survey of 600 organisations on a range of business topics. The results, published by Roffey Park and Management Development Institute, provide fresh insight on the pulse of Singaporean business managers.
Last month, my business partner and I decided to switch our bank account to DBS. I must say, it was truly an exceptional experience. From entering its pod-like lobby at the Marina Bay Financial Centre, which looked like a cross between a five-star-hotel reception and a spaceship, I was mesmerised. Could this really be a bank?
A new year is full of hope and aspiration — it is like turning the pages of a recently purchased book, whereby we put aside the past and look forward to the future. It is full of new resolutions — lose weight, learn a new skill or get a new job — most of which are long forgotten as life catches up with us.
It is said that innovative organisations — those that systematically create new sources of value from their products, services or processes — grow twice as fast, both in employment and sales, as firms that fail to innovate. What’s their secret?
When I say the word “innovation”, what pops into your mind? Great products like the iPhone or iPad? Breakthroughs in scientific drug research? Social-media platforms like Twitter or Facebook? Maybe others.
Sitting on a balcony overlooking a paddy field, I start to pen this article. I am here in Bali for the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival. I have wanted to come here ever since I heard about the festival three years ago but, like most things that require ring-fencing time and personal space, I put it off.
Who owns innovation in your company? Who do you call when you want to talk about innovation strategy and capability building? How often have you come across departments, not just for Brands, R&D or Product Development, but departments that are focused on what I call organisational innovation — building the capacities, skills and structures to help a whole company innovate?