"It is not about talking about innovation, but about training people to do it"
"How do teams have to change to innovate better?" The Academic Director of the Master in Business Transformation through Innovation at UPF-BSM, Alfons Cornella, has tried to answer this question and others such as why innovate, who, when to do it, what it consists of, how to do it or how to measure it in the webinar Innovative teams for an accelerated market.
"After having led more than 120 innovation projects, it is shown that the future is about innovating", said the professor, who has clarified that "there is an economic reason to innovate, and the studies support it: companies that innovate end up having better results. "
There is an economic reason to innovate, and the studies support it: companies that innovate end up having better results
According to the expert, "it is not about talking about innovation, but about training people to do it." Cornella has listed the problems organizations typically encounter when embarking on a process to innovate:
- To begin with, the agendas of the teams, which are already busy enough to also have to think about innovating.
- Confusing creativity with innovation: it is about making proposals, generating change, not making a different presentation of the product or service.
- There is no system, there is no method, innovation is a process that varies greatly depending on the sector.
- There is a lack of innovation metrics: this is a complicated field, but it is possible if you know how.
- Innovation has to be made easy and every day, it does not have to be done from an "ivory tower". Innovation has to be transversal and in all departments, it cannot be done in an office behind closed doors.
- You need instruments that everyone understands.
- The way is to do it through innovation cells and through proposals.
And for teams to respond positively to innovation, a key question must be answered: "Innovation, what about me?" If a very concrete answer is not given to this question and the return for people is not clear, the innovation ends up failing. When innovation is raised, it has to be raised for the company and for the teams. When training for teams is about three things:
- Innovation consists of generating proposals in the market that are perceived as better value. It is about transforming, modifying and improving what we propose to clients to give them a better product or service: Damm's cardboard rings, walls with a new material made of paper, new virtual reality tourism concepts or increasing the efficiency of the tomato plantations.
- To innovate is to improve some components of the "business model", it is not about technology or digitization. In this sense, the opportunities for innovation are very diverse, and may involve proposing new products, having new clients, new services, new purchasing models or new channels, among others.
Cornella has given examples from an apple production cooperative in northern Italy to a Ralph Lauren subscription.
- Innovation is a system that has different components: detection of problems, study of the competition, asking questions. Innovation is not a sporadic individual action, but a systematic team activity. All companies, regardless of their size, have to innovate to be more competitive and respond dynamically to the new needs of customers and the market, providing new solutions. And the best way to do this is to prepare the organization's human talent to do so in a complex growth environment.
Innovation is a necessity, an effort that has to bring a return for the company and for the employee. Proposals for the company and improvement of skills for employees
"There will be a wave of innovation in the coming months and companies will need proposals, and at the same time we will need people to improve their skills and abilities," Cornella continued.
"Innovation is a necessity, an effort that has to lead to a return for the company and for the employee. Proposals for the company and improvement of skills for employees. The circle closes itself, the company innovates and the workforce makes a profit" , he said.