How to push collaborative innovation

During IPMA event, I had a chance to interact with Head of Product Management, Wipro and I asked him how service organization could enforce collaborative innovation. He was quick to point out a top-down approach.

Top-down approach is that every BU by default would have certain sales target and he wants to strictly enforce that certain percentage of the revenues had to come from either new solutions/new markets. Even if the overallsales target is achieved and X% of sales revenue is not contributed by either new solutions/new markets then the target is to be missed. Such approach will ensure that the BU heads will persuaded to push for collaborative innovation and they will bring in required process to capture the value arrived out of collaborative innovation. However from the conversation, I could not sense that there is no deliberate attempt to spur the collaborative innovation from bottom-up.

I sincerely feel that there should be some equal focus on the bottom-up approach too for the success of collaborative innovation. As stated in previous blog article, engineers are more focused on their individual component that they often fail to relate their component with every other component in the entire end-to-end solution. We have to facilitate them to think how their components work in relation to other component in the overall solution. Such thinking is also called as Systems thinking and it will help foster a mental map that will provide a holistic view of how each component is related to the entire system or rather solution in our case. System thinking will act as stimulus for collaborative innovation as the engineers would have the urge to understand every component in relation to every other component in the system. But the biggest challenge is to inculcate systems thinking in the minds of engineers.

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