Replacing the old with the new: Innovation governance is the key.
Innovation governance sounds like an oxymoron. Innovation is supposed to be unstructured and barrier-less flow of creative juices. Today, businesses, organisations and ecosystems are embracing innovation as being key to sustaining competitive advantage.
Organisations like SBI, large and required to innovate quickly to stay competitive, use an agile framework. They simultaneously work on different pieces like Vision, Structure, Resources, Development, Communication and Managing Risk of multiple projects.
The aim of innovation governance is to help graduation of an idea to the stature of business innovation. To begin with, the CIO or the innovation champion has to shift focus away from cost and operations, and think outside the box to establish the present value of the long-term and short-term returns of an innovation.
In case of large organisations like SBI, multiple technologies working in multiple ecosystems with multiple collaborations have been found to be the best milieu for enduring future-readiness of innovation.
Innovation governance often is mired in distractions and hoopla. For example, customer-site visits, hackathons and vendor-days generate a lot of short-term excitement. However, even after many rounds of these, nothing is seen on the ground justifying the money spent—like the recent publicity around block-chain and robotics, announcements are made around POCs and “Workable Products” coming from hackathons and innovation off-sites, but that is all that there is.
In SBI, putting a process to map hackathon results into business value and mentorship, sponsorship of these processes by senior C-level executives have helped the innovation journeys move forward. Targeting and bringing focus on areas to innovate is the beginning of innovation governance. Tools for measuring outcome must be embedded into the governance framework so that new innovation replaces the old, and failed innovation does not perpetuate itself through optical illusions and sound bites.