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January 22, 2016

Innovating By The Book

Posted by Sai Kumar S (View Profile | View All Posts) at 4:10 AM

Organizational innovation: Between structure and white space [Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fv2bhTd07I]

For the past several months we have consciously worked to inculcate a culture of innovation in Infosys, from the ground-up. A simple five point innovation framework guides employees at all levels to learn from their own and others' projects; look for opportunities to do things better in current assignments; think up ways of delivering more than the scope of the project; articulate the benefits of these innovative ideas in clear business terms; and share that knowledge freely within the organization.

This 'grassroots innovation' movement has been successful beyond expectations to yield thousands of concepts and ideas, many of which have been implemented. Given the number of ideas being generated, there is a need for a formal and objective mechanism to select those that are worthy of implementation.

Design Thinking provides us exactly that. Design Thinking advocates that innovators must first and foremost identify the real problems of their customers before attempting to solve them. When they find a problem that's a huge challenge, and something their customers would really like resolved - those evoking an emotional response or connection are obvious choices - only then should they start thinking up of possible solutions. Every innovative idea that results from this process must then be subjected to a stringent three-way 'DFV' test - to establish whether the solution is Desirable to customers - meaning, will they actually welcome it; whether the idea, while brilliant, can in fact be built in the real world - in other words, is it technically Feasible; and whether the business can implement the innovation without losing money - meaning, is it financially Viable.

Only those ideas that meet all three criteria should qualify for the next stages of prototyping and production. It is our belief that this would result in innovations that are very closely aligned, or as we like to say, at Zero Distance, to clients' needs. To give clients exactly that which they need - even if they have not yet found the imagination to articulate it themselves - isn't that the greatest purpose of all innovation?

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