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Unleashing Creativity and Innovation: Nine Lessons from Nature for Enterprise Growth and Career Success by Madan Birla

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Part IV

The Tested and Proven Three-Step Innovation Process

Innovation is the generation, acceptance, and implementation of new ideas, processes, products, or services. It can thus occur in any part of a corporation, and it can involve creative use as well as original invention. Application and implementation are central to this definition; it involves the capacity to change or adapt.

—Rosabeth Moss Kanter, in her landmark book, The Change Masters

I came to see, in my time at IBM, that culture isn’t just one aspect of the game—it is the game. In the end, an organization is nothing more than the collective capacity of its people to create value.

—Lou Gerstner, CEO, IBM in his book, Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance?

Innovation: A Three-Step People Process

Whereas creativity deals solely with the generation of ideas by exploring what if scenarios, innovation starts with creative ideas but takes the process two steps further.

Innovation does not just happen. It must be actively supported. Individual employee creativity is the first step of innovation. Managers/team leaders have to create an environment where employees feel comfortable in suggesting and experimenting with new ways of doing things.

An innovation culture actively promotes the three stages of innovation:

  • Generation
  • Acceptance
  • Implementation

It’s people who have creative ideas. It’s people who accept and develop the raw creative ideas. It’s people who successfully implement the developed ideas. Leaders at all levels of ...

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