Created by Materia for OpenMind Recommended by Materia
Start There Are Many Ways to Deal with the Mysteries of Innovation
20 June 2012

There Are Many Ways to Deal with the Mysteries of Innovation

Estimated reading time Time 3 to read

Business relations with the outside world

The border that a company establishes between itself and its environment is a very porous one and therefore allows innovation to move easily between the two ecosystems, i.e. internal and external innovation.

If this exchange is caused by a conscious action then the result is the creation of value to the Organization, that is, companies can “work” internal ideas abroad through specific channels, other than its traditional and even beyond their current areas of expertise, or work external ideas using its available resources.

 It is natural that a company does not maintain a business operating within its walls if they find an external balance that promotes greater profitability and sustainability.

According to Roger Martin the area where organizations consume more funds is investigating the “mystery”, and often this research turns out unsatisfactory because it is not economically viable. We know that many researchers spend their lives dedicated to their mysteries without being able to take the step to the heuristic, and they often feel compelled to abandon the research, leaving the “heuristic” also abandoned.

When looking at the whole we need to find this passage from mystery to heuristic. That way, the creator of the “heuristic”, only needs to work this aspect and not the whole mystery. Given this situation it seems natural to say that if the company does not have people within it who do that, they can and should look abroad.

However, some organizations that cultivate some characteristics, intensively and almost mechanical, such as control and hierarchy, performance and success in the short term, and who avoid risk, among other things, are not receptive to change and may antagonize this form of thinking.

BBVA-OpenMind-jose antonio baldaia-There are many ways to deal with the mysteries of innovation


In these circumstances, companies need to open up to the world and overcome the  widespread tendency in managers that only follow the analytical precepts transmitted in schools and in learning inside organizations.

When thought is confined to dogmas and assumptions it is one of the largest forms of creativity blocks we face when we observe the organizational behavior of many companies.

If we want managers of companies to move towards accepting abductive thinking, i.e. “what is possible”, as an integral part of how they make decisions, we must know that would be a difficult achievement. To overcome the fear of risk, without having to rely on databases of past results, or the fear of losing the “status quo”, is an act of exceptional courage.

The innovation environment must also pass by the acceptance of the interdisciplinarity, an openness of knowledge that exists in silos and an attitude of acceptance and collaboration.

In this same reality, diversity usually surpasses individual ability, and teams built on diversity (interdisciplinary), overcome teams based on the competence of a discipline.

To be innovative in fact, companies must understand that the best innovations often come from the lower levels of the Organization and that innovation can and must take place in any functional area.

Innovative organizations will instill a culture of innovation throughout the organization. This culture is based on stimulation of ideas and creativity, not forgetting that the appearance of failure follows the conviction of – sooner fails less costs entails.

When there is a culture of empowerment and commitment, there is a mood of openness. This fosters the ability to learn from failure and to focus on the horizon the results.

“The hardest issue to crack is creating open and collaborative cultures and mindsets. The innovation funnel and the “stage gate” model—setting up a series of innovation hurdles to filter out ideas and projects according to predefined criteria—are tried and tested. It takes significant bravery to adopt alternatives. Today’s businesses are largely managed to minimize risk and often suffer from a “not invented here” mentality that rejects outsiders’ ideas. However, companies are beginning to realize that many talented and entrepreneurial people are hidden among their consumers.” –BusinessWeek

José Baldaia

Management and Innovation Consultant (Portugal)

Comments on this publication

Name cannot be empty
Write a comment here…* (500 words maximum)
This field cannot be empty, Please enter your comment.
*Your comment will be reviewed before being published
Captcha must be solved