One of the core elements that spur growth and creates value for the organization is innovation. So, what is innovation? Disruptor, new technology, new processes, creativity, new ideas, change, mindset, improvements – these are a few facets of innovation. Touted as one of the top skills required in leadership, innovation is quintessential to gain a competitive advantage and create value for a company’s stakeholders.
The Innovation Lab is a week-long group project. During this week, teams of MBA participants are challenged to think beyond innovation initiatives. Our goal is to explore ways to transform companies using real-life cases. Out of a list of 20 companies, each group picked the one that interested them the most.
Day 1 of the Innovation week
The opening session rolled with the introduction to concept, need for innovation and its implications. Coming from different functions, there were a couple of questions that bothered our team. “What do I know about innovation?” and “How can I contribute to the challenge?”
Breaking the myth, Professor Mark Greeven cited that most innovation breakthroughs are not necessarily disruptive. Radical breakthroughs have created much value for companies.
Do we have Innovator’s DNA?
Often, we assume that we are Innovation propagators. To access our Innovator DNA, we participated in a small questionnaire. Stunned by the results, we discovered that some of us are not as innovative as we thought! We then drew 30 different apples in our groups, without speaking to each other. Looking at the different sketches, we appreciated how one fruit is perceived in various ways and how innovative we can be.
A guest speaker, Ms Hermance de La Bastide from Pernod Ricard, continued the discussions and presented us with two live challenges. We were surprised to see how a short discussion on a topic can cultivate a plethora of ideas.
Wearing our leadership hats and prioritizing one initiative out of the 17 Sustainable Development goals of the United Nations was not as simple as we had initially thought. However, by the end of day one, we had defined our challenge for the exercise. Fueled with passion and caffeine, we look forward to new learnings ahead from the innovation week.