Tools for Managing Innovation and Change Management

Innovation has become an imperative component of sustaining competitive advantage for many companies – from those using big data to analyze consumer trends to those developing the latest device for healthcare. Data is growing substantially and keeping up with the demand is a rising hurdle. The larger the organization, the more challenges likely to be faced throughout the innovation process. Successfully managing the ongoing change requires extensive thought, preparation, and careful execution.

New dynamics continue to appear and strategic conversations are taking place on the executive level. Technical management has evolved in such a way that requires a unique fusion of business knowledge and technical skill. Technology management translates into responsibilities beyond the scope of servers, big data tools, and data science and into project management and leadership skills. Employee development and involvement and talent management are integral pieces to the puzzle as well. Effectively managing people and their unique ideas is the differentiating factor between a winning and losing change management strategy.

Collaboration & Change

New ideas are the most basic of a company’s necessities but can be difficult to find. Cultivating an environment where ideas are encouraged, heard, and shared is where innovation thrives. Regularly exploring new ideas, concepts, and projects that require new processes and team dynamics provide invaluable learning opportunities. Learning to lead change and allowing employees to be part of the process early on allows the learning to be applied faster, minimizing the turbulence when adapting to internal and external change.

Innovation is a product of collaboration, however not all collaboration is successful. One size does not fit all. Some may define collaboration as simply the act of exchanging ideas with peers regardless of platform. Contrarily, others may define it as physically being gathered in a common area while white boarding the presented ideas. Both are perfectly accurate examples of collaboration but both may not serve as a productive setting for everyone. Providing various mediums for teams to create has become acceptable and common practice. Learning how individuals are creatively charged and where they deliver their best work strengthens the process immensely. Knowing to do this is a sign of good leadership.

Facilitate Conversation

Being in the data driven business of technology management means constant change. How this change is managed can make or break technology innovation projects. Leadership and those leading innovation should communicate with employees about the change early on in the process. This includes those that are involved in the actual project to those that the project affects. Open communication is critical for the success of innovation in organizations as part of an effective change management practice. The increased exposure to discussion leads to more ideas, sharing and development of respective data and information and successful development and launch of the innovation.

Facilitating conversation is as simple as it sounds. In fact, the information technology manager can drive this behavior remotely, if necessary. For example, one way may be assigning a team-lead to orchestrate regular peer-led best practice discussions. Another way to produce valuable dialogue may be as basic as urging teams to grab lunch together. Several large tech companies have even started giving structure to these peer-to-peer innovation platforms by forming committees responsible for developing ideas.

Managing innovation and change management can be intimidating. However, like all projects involving big data management and related technology, staying proactive, open to change, and engaged in conversation is the most powerful plan of action.

If you would like to learn more innovation and change management, request more information about Georgetown University’s Technology Management program or contact an admissions representative at (202) 687-8888. If you are ready to enroll, simply apply now.