How can process-driven businesses become more innovative?

In the corporate and tech worlds, companies like Apple and Google are known for their innovation and ingenuity. Google's new concepts, such as the language-translation tool, the voice-search mechanism, and the direction and traffic feature in Google Maps, are just a few examples of how the company is constantly improving and improving its digital goods.

With the Mac, Apple jolted the computer hardware market. The I-phone also revolutionized the smartphone sector. Such businesses continue to invest in innovation and are continuously looking for new problems to tackle. When too much focus is placed on the 'process,' however, such investment in creativity and innovation is sometimes lost in huge process-driven organizations.

The manufacturing industry is a classic illustration of process-driven organisations, where corporations are all about method and hierarchy. HRKatha consulted with human resource leaders for this article, and they agreed that this is a frequent problem encountered not just by manufacturing organizations, but by any major organisation with complex management structures.

According to Praveen Purohit, deputy CHRO at Vedanta Resources, "too much attention on systems leads to less creativity and innovation in companies."

According to HR executive Emmanuel David, innovation starts at the top. Employees are encouraged to be more imaginative by their bosses. "The type of leadership at the top determines the level of creativity and innovation. They must develop competencies that will provide them a competitive advantage," David explains.

Jacob Jacob, Malabar Group's group CHRO, emphasizes the need for allowing employees to make decisions and providing them with the flexibility to operate. 3M also has a 15% rule, which requires every R& D person to spend 15% of their time on separate initiatives. "Ensuring an enabling atmosphere for employees can lead to an innovative attitude," Jacob explains.

In a competitive market, staying relevant requires innovation. Nokia and Kodak, for example, lost their popularity after a certain point because they were unable to adjust and innovate in order to stay up with the changing environment. "Today, innovation is critical. Purohit says that "without innovation, one will cease to live in this competitive world."

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