We're always happy to hear Yuval's opinions on the latest trends within innovation. Having directly contributed to our Innovation 101 series, he will now be presenting at this October's CINO EU summit.
In the lead up to his presentation, we ask Yuval - who now works at Global Product Operations for Google - some important questions regarding the industry.
What do you see as the key challenge that you are addressing?
Work culture. Digital requires a different foundation from the employees, leadership and teams. Unless companies are willing to change those elements, they will never fully materialize the potential of digital transformation and end up with partial, incremental improvements.
It is important to understand that transformation is a gradual process that progresses incrementally and that’s ok; people first need to unlearn things before they learn the new and better ways of working and like anything new, they need the time and support to go through that. So as long as the motivation, willingness and intent is there, with the support of senior leadership real digital transformation success and the company with its employees are the ones to reap the benefit.
Should teams pushing new innovations be placed outside of the main organisation, in something such as a lab?
Innovation has the potential to become the growth engine for companies and ensure their long term success and competitive advantage. And as such it has created a lot of attention in the forms of articles, conferences and several solutions such as ideation frameworks and open innovation platforms that can be implemented in enterprises worldwide.
I think that these ‘innovation accelerators’ can work for some organizations, benefiting them through two main forms, both of which I would position at the fringes of the core activity.
First, they can support the innovation flow such as the prioritization process, focus and alignment to strategy. Second, they help promote the behavioural change that comes with adopting a new approach, mindset and culture. This leaves the core work of innovation mostly outside the influence of these activities.
Since the basic idea of innovation goes against any sort of limitations; either by process, policies, structure or rules, even a subtle restraint can trigger a negative reaction in the minds of those trying to innovate.
How do you liberate people, without unleashing chaos?
I believe that creating the right atmosphere in the company with the appropriate balance between these tensions is the way to go. Finding the sweet spots between these important elements is what makes your company’s culture, which is centre to a conducive innovation environment.
Does a specific ‘innovation’ role need to have a position in the boardroom, such as a Chief Innovation Officer?
No, innovation is a mindset more than anything and thus should not be owned and operated solely by one function, person or team. It is true that for the activities of trial and error that many start-ups or innovative projects have, it would be ideal to rid them off some of the red tape and corporate processes that are usually applied to functioning products and teams.