on Jun 20th, 2007Saturation and the need for innovation
There comes a time for every company when things just don’t seem to move. The stock begins to slip, strategies get mixed up, the organization gets entangled in its own lack of good planning or foresight and just generally struggles to gain more ground. When you translate this to IT companies most of the symptoms remain the same, but add to it lack of innovation, exodus of top execs and bad press. One such company hails from Sunnyvale and yes all’s not well in Sunnyvale.
I am no genius in the mechanics of running an organization, but I know technology and I do stay in touch with the blogosphere. This company has been one of my all time favorites, in fact I wouldn’t mind joining it even though I know they going through a rough patch. Its not just this company that is struggling, I can list at least half a dozen companies , not necessarily web, struggling to move ahead of their current position.
You will undoubtedly blame the strategists of the company and crib about them not doing their job. But its not just strategists that must be worried , the management is also equally to blame. Any company that doesn’t include innovation and research in its portfolio is going down. The fad nowadays has been of making hay while sunshines and trying to do too many things at one time. The case isn’t any different for service companies in India. These publicly owned companies have to satisfy their shareholders, clients and employees and do all this keeping in mind the future and their vision. Its a tough call, seriously but not one that cannot be achieved. The dynamics of the IT industry change faster than fastest changing fads. Its essential to keep your head above water to see what lies ahead of you, not just keep swimming as fast as you can. The result can be disastrous for companies that don’t consider adding Innovation to one of their to do lists.
Innovation is not easily achieved, there have to be strides made to achieve them. Google’s famous 20% personal time is one such great initiative that encourages an employee to innovate and also reap the benefits of doing so. Fostering and more importantly nurturing innovation is very important, you never know, you may have just passed the next million dollar idea. How do you innovate ? With all your company activities intact, give employees the freedom to express themselves. Have code jams and hack days, encourage fresh new ideas and initiatives. Setting up an innovation department in your company and helping talented employees understand their complete potential could be a good start. Have regular workshops on latest technologies and keep yourself abreast of the current trends. Channelize ideas into a fruitful outcomes and promote such people. Innovation knows no bounds, so if you think you have come across an idea that is too far fetched, hold on it. You never know, 20 years from now you may be a forerunner in something. Document and categorize ideas, invest in a knowledge management system.