Ideas have always been very crucial and businesses seek employees who can think in a non-linear way to come out with substantially radical views on various strategic matters and their implementation. But the new digital era has also changed the world order when it comes to ideas. It is not just about the brilliance of the idea per se but the way we articulate the same as well. The key here is to blend creativity with data to maximise the consumer experience and, ultimately, devise a successful business model. Here, the ability to tell a story will remain paramount. But combining creativity with data allows us to explore the experiences in their many forms and still understand the strategy and its implementation holistically. Data will start playing a vital role as the complexities of consumer and the product/services landscape unfold. Data will constantly unlock key insights, but the management's focus will be on putting the human experience at the very core.
It is important to blend creativity with data to maximise the consumer experience and devise a successful business model, says Rajesh Nair
Innovative professionals also focus on a positive feedback loop. They have clear goals which attract creative ideas, and their unique culture nurtures passion among their team members which, in turn, drives them to be more inventive. The social impact of the work, the thrill of solving interesting problems, a sense of autonomy, excitement of collaboration and enhancement of one’s skills are all key ingredients of a purpose-driven culture that fosters disruptive innovation.
Revenue, profit and sales pipelines are necessary conditions for a company’s existence but when you look at the work culture of the world’s most innovative firms, you could see that they are rarely the major goals. Companies renowned for high innovation rates often have loftier ambitions and higher purposes that energise and unify its employees. They look beyond simply generating profits for shareholders and creating value for all their stakeholders. Tech giant Apple doing away with sales targets and adding customer satisfaction and service to its core metrics is a really interesting example in this regard.
Communication is also related to the deeper attachment employees have to their work. Do they see a greater purpose in what they are doing? Organisations are also modularising work to enable employees to see the direct benefit of their ideas at work rather than making it part of a humongous project wherein individual ideas lack an identity. It is also important to remember that innovation doesn't come just from giving people incentives, rather it comes from creating an environment where their ideas can connect.
For professionals entering the portals of their careers, it is an interesting challenge. The mindset of an inquisitive student cannot be forgone so as its ability to adapt to new technologies and business models which will prove paramount in handling change. Ideas have to be articulated in a better way and also with the ability to synergise with digital working models. What is also changing is the paradigm of collective wisdom. Never has collective wisdom been so underrated as in the recent past. The power of individual ideas has more premium than ever before. One’s view of the world will have to change as it cannot explain several phenomenons which have evolved in the digital era. It is not just technology but how management intuition is configured. What seemed like a well-covered and concrete management decision often falls short.
New-age managers need to constantly remind themselves that while the foundations of management communication remain the same, delivery and articulation will have to be in sync with the new world order.
(The author is Partner, Emerge Ventures Pte, Singapore)