Written by: Prof. Dr. Frank Lee Harper, Jr., Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
This article continues our journey with my "Leaders Are Born to Be Made!" series. The teaching objective is to continue to share my leadership and management insights within an agile ideology to drive strategic execution—professionally and personally—in this Industrial Revolution (IR) 4.0. Each article discusses the "world-class leadership behavior and/or management best practice" associated with the featured letter of the A.G.I.L.E. L.E.A.D.E.R.S.H.I.P. with a G.R.I.P. ™ titled acronym that comprises the Agile Leadership Framework™. The featured letter of this article continues with the "I" in A.G.I.L.E., introduced in an earlier article. The first two articles gave an overview of Intelligent Mindset and a deep dive into the first practice of innovation, respectively. Part 3 will cover the second eye, or lens, of the Intelligent Mindset, the practice of insight.
Reading article #2 taught you that emotional and intellectual intelligence drives innovation and competitive advantage. This article uncovers the relationship between insight and innovation.
Second practice of an intelligent mindset – Insight
Let us look at the importance of insight for innovation. In general, innovations that are the most successful are based on solid and meaningful insights:
Using insight to pinpoint the most significant commercial opportunities jumpstarts innovation in the right direction
And then repeated and iterative testing of product concepts. Agile concepts like SCRUM are based on principles and aspects that drive processes steered by a robust assessment of commercial validity, not just a creative impulse.
Empirical evidence shows that when innovations fail, there is a strong chance that insights need to be used correctly. To circumvent this negative experience, Adaptive Design Thinking (ADT) in a think tank setting prevents innovation research without an insight specialist. For example, UBTS International, a 5-year-old tech and data think tank, has a vision and mission statement that focuses on understanding consumer sentiments towards a series of services and products that are the foundation of a Digital Economy. The global think tank members have a combined total of 150 years of experience in various technologies and telecommunications products and services. They realize the importance of innovation and insight to creating products that will significantly impact the daily lives of consumers in the least developed and emerging communities worldwide. These enabling technologies include but are not limited to WiFi6 and beyond, open roaming, artificial intelligence, IoT, and others.
Understanding the consumer landscape allows companies in digitally enriched environments to innovate more successfully. Using consumer insights enables new products and services to be created that:
Satisfy the needs of consumers and producers (in a platform business model)
And circumvent any concerns they might have
Strategic HtInsights can be used to deliver successful innovation.
Five innovative practices were uncovered in the previous article on innovation. Further analysis shows how insight plays a big part in each. Let us revisit each ¹
Curiosity. The quest to do something different that creates value starts with a question. You ask, "What if?" to begin the innovation journey. Why not? How might we? The answer to these requires the insight to be an instigator, innovator, and implementor.
Customer obsession. To create value, you must solve a problem that matters to your customers. You have to find a job that they need help to get done. UBTS uses a proprietary strategic design framework called iVOICE™ [Insights into Value Optimization & Identification of Customer Experience]. This multiphase approach discovers and defines potential customers’ needs and motivations. It requires a surprisingly difficult exercise: mentally setting aside current solutions so that they do not narrow your field of view.
Collaboration. The dimensions of collaboration in Agile principles are awareness, articulation, and appropriation. Magic happens when agile principles, different mindsets, and skills collide at intersections. Great innovators plant themselves at those intersections. Great innovators recognize that none of us is as smart as all. We will revisit this concept in a later article on the agile leadership concept of Respect, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion—the insights created before and due to collaboration fuel an innovative culture.
Be adept in ambiguity. We know innovation is never a straight line. Innovation success comes from constant experimentation and requires a willingness to fumble, take false steps, and sometimes fail. During this process, insight is the regular fuel.
Empowerment. You can only do something different to create value once you do something. You have to put your idea into action. Again, putting this idea into action requires insight.
The Intelligent Mindset practices innovation and insight. There is a strong correlation between the two; each contributes to the emotional and intellectual development of the Intelligent Mindset. The next article in this discussion of the Intelligent Mindset will cover the practice of initiative.
Until then, all the best, continued success.
Prof. Dr. Frank Lee Harper, Jr., Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Dr. Frank Lee Harper, Jr. is the founder and world champion of agile leadership concepts. He is President ‒ UBTS International Corp having strategic affiliates in over 55 countries, Provost / Associate Professor ‒ Cambridge Corporate University, having branches in over 25 countries, while serving on for-profit and not-for-profit advisory boards. He is an award-winning IT leader and published author who is adept at influencing and teaching strategic transformations across multiple countries, industries, disciplines, and technologies for businesses having global revenues ($1+ Trillion); savings/growth ($10+ Billion); with budgets ($4+ Billion). His favorite motto is, "Leaders Are Born To Be Made."
 Innovation Behaviors that Business Leaders must Adopt in the Next Normal - Calabey Enterprise. https://calabeyenterprises.com/2021/02/17/5-innovation-behaviors-that-business-leaders-must-adopt-in-the-next-normal/