Innovation - Welcome to the Heart of Europe

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Rather than being stuck in consentient "group think," combined with a conflict-averse tendency to sugar-coat issues, it is healthy friction in a coherent team composition that spurs out-of-the-box thinking and thereby brings forth groundbreaking ideas. As important for innovation is a culture of smart failure that incorporates strategies for learning from the same.
  

Happiness Through Innovation: Crossing Borders and Taking Chances
 
Creating an innovative environment is also about strengthening the readiness to cross borders and seeing beyond what at first glance doesn't belong.
 
Change Direction. Our competitive, innovation-driven economy has a strong need to seize opportunities and induce new potential through ongoing change. In principle, we pursue two change directions. Horizontal change is most common, as it moves existing ideas into new places. Occasionally, it is referred to as R&D, which in this case doesn’t stand for "research and development" but rather for "rip-off and duplicate." In many cases this is sufficient to provide innovative impulse. Then again, there is vertical change, which invests in groundbreaking ideas that offer something previously inconceivable. When there is "a case for change," one has to let go of ways that had been successful in the past. Innovation begins in the heads of people, who discover that there is only one way to learn: by unlearning what we have previously done.
 
The Hundertwasser House and its sibling the Vienna Art House with all their uncontrolled irregularities, including uneven floors, rounded corners, and spontaneous vegetation, are outstanding examples of very creative architecture. The Austrian painter Friedensreich Hundertwasser was also appointed to remodel the Spittelau waste burning plant, turning it from a cause of complaint into an architectural landmark of the city.
 
Inspiring Innovation. Striving for innovation can become a strong motivational factor for people, who yearn for making a difference. As such, it can improve subjective well-being and spread happiness that comes with its achievement. Innovation is inspired by an environment that allows creativity to manifest itself rather than holding it back. One must realize though that it is as much about recognizing and retaining talent as it is about providing it the needed "creative leeway" (a.k.a. "kreativer Freiraum") to find new answers. The encouragement of a playful attitude represents another piece of the creative framework, as do casual conversations that can trigger further ideas, and the availability of quiet space, where people can reflect and process the same. Most crucial though is the selection of the creative team. It is formed with the ambitious goal to bring forth revolutionary new business development ideas.
 
Future Orientation. Crucial with innovative changes are supportive measures for communication to solve interface problems among sciences, which may all display different qualifications, languages, perspectives, incentive systems, and, not least, territoriality. According to Teresa Amabile, preconditions for individual creativity include expertise, task motivation and creative-thinking skills. Innovation is always also an investment. Difficulties with enforcement occur,  because there is no immediate, tangible result. An uncertainty factor remains, as one doesn't even know, whether it will work out fine long term. All the more important is support by power-, expert-, process- and relationship-promoters, who help remove barriers and create space for error that allows people to overcome initial failures.
 
New Perspective. Innovation is the replacement of something old. In its roots coming from the Latin expression "innovare," which stands for injecting something new, for renewal and exchange in the sense of "creative destruction." The degree of novelty varies from incremental to radical-disruptive. Innovations traditionally relate to products and processes, but also happen in organizational, business and social context as well as especially in respect to technical development, which attractiveness should be assessed in terms of potential and relevance to customer needs. Innovation is not only new, it is also characterized by high complexity, by risk and consequently by its conflict potential. Innovation-friendly structures display a high degree of flexibility coupled with decentralized control, a lot of personal responsibility, a flat hierarchy that fosters communication across system boundaries. The nature of inventions is a first technical realization of the solution to a problem. They can also lead to unplanned results and spillover. Examples for serendipity inventions are manifold, they reach from penicillin all the way to post-its.
 
Fault Tolerance. Innovation does leave long-term rules behind as much as it works by overcoming failures, just as evolution does. Innovation readiness would include taking chances, tolerating failure. It turns the initial mishaps into intelligent failure that one can learn from. And it is about continuing to believe not as much in shiny-while-shallow pitchmen but in persistent people with potential to even "do it right the second time," as they bridge the gap between theory and practice, strategy and execution, announcing and delivering, talking and doing – from the beginning to end. Main characteristics of winning cultures are in line with a high willingness to learn from previous mistakes.
 
 
Intellectual Diversity is one of the biggest secrets of success, as it can literally make creativity sparks fly! It results from forming creative groups out of people with very different perspectives and skills. Ideally, they should represent almost paradoxical tendencies, as their qualities reach from deep knowledge, disciplined planning and professionalism all the way to a fresh mind, creative freedom, and improvisation, some of which can be also triggered by outside stimulation. A creative process gains from rubbing different thinking styles and approaches against each other. A truly coherent mix may unleash a potential to develop novel, divergent ideas. But then again, how do you measure innovative ideas, for "you can't management what you can't measure," or can you?
 
Gummy Bear Artwork by my daughter: Aren't we all a mixture of colors?
  
 
Innovation is a big topic in connection with Information Technology. The next page is about Alignment of the same.
   
 
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