Spontaneity in innovation – Does unbridled exuberance lead to success?


Spontaneity, that eureka! moment, when it seems that the whole universe is prodding you to succeed, is a key factor in innovation. However, it’s not that it comes to you right out of the blue. Behind it is years of research, struggle, experience, application, trial and error, call it whatever you want. Whether active or passive, much has gone into bringing on that one idea with which you shall change the world.

However, the debate has been whether innovation thrives in an unstructured environment where you let it come to you unannounced or in a more structured environment where you create the ambience for innovative work focused on revealing what the next big thing is. Perhaps in a step-by-step fashion and eventually, it will unfold and show returns.

Studies have shown that with more formal innovation structures and processes, there is higher satisfaction and better outcomes. However, there needs to be some chaos, the ability to imagine and dream, even within formal structures in order for the unconventional to reveal itself, break the mold and set a trend. It’s important to have a product management and development structure within organizations but, its more important to separate the people focused on current products and releases that follow schedules to meet current client needs from those whose role is to imagine, dream, try to test out new things without the pressure of supporting ongoing business needs. Ensuring there is an open line to receive client feedback on current products can help influence the direction of research to keep it close to the markets being served. However, there is a balance that needs to be drawn here to ensure that the influence is not so much that the team ends up serving client custom needs but is actually focused on creating better products with better outcomes, sometimes in a sense that may even create a new pivot.

High cross functional collaboration, greater risk tolerance appetite, research driven organizations with supportive eco systems tend to do better than those that are narrowly focused on bottom lines. The truth is that true innovation results in improved employee morale, spontaneity and better bottom lines naturally.

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After all, its only genies who need to be bottled up!

“What a small world it is?” an oft used phrase when referring to the speed and reach of any contact across borders. But, what truly is responsible for this far-reaching consequence of today’s world and more so, what has led to the iterative development of human interaction and improvement over time. Technology? Well, not really. Its communication!

By communication, I mean the act of interacting with each other to exchange ideas, views, notions, beliefs, experiences and much more. Language has always been more of an enabler than a hindrance to interaction. And of all the varied life forms, man is the one blessed with the faculty of myriad forms of communication and interpretation. It’s vital for each one of us to make optimum use of this faculty in various aspects of our life.

Vivid expression, lucid emotions and good health are all the result of effective communication skills. Communication skills are to be honed upon throughout our lives so that we get better at the art and science of interaction and at the same time, benefit from its many virtues. The way we speak, we write, we emote and express are all aspects of a complete package, our personality. Each one of us wants to ensure the most effective interpretation possible of what we aspire to convey. After all, it’s that interpretation which results in corresponding actions and we want to affect the action we desire. Hence, there is a need to master the skill of communication.

It’s often seen that due importance is not given to this everyday act. And yet, we wonder why the resulting actions were not what we expected to see! Earning more, getting a promotion, seeking someone’s affection, speaking your mind; all result from effective communication in specific situations. It’s important to recognize the situation and communicate accordingly to affect the results you seek. It’s also important that you are true to yourself when you communicate since that is when the best of you is reflected in what you have to share. Your authenticity, vigor and true essence exude is your communiqué and as a result has the best impact possible. Moreover, it leaves you with the satisfaction of having spoken your mind and as a result, with a healthier body and mind.

After all, its only genies who need to be bottled up!