Organizational innovation is one way to explore new ways work can be organized and accomplished to encourage and promote competitive advantage.
At the core of organizational innovation is the need to improve or change a product, process or service. All innovation revolves around change – but not all change is innovative.
Organizational innovation encourages individuals to think independently and creatively in applying personal knowledge to organizational challenges. Therefore, organizational innovation requires a culture of innovation that supports new ideas, processes and generally new ways of “doing business”.
In promoting a culture of innovation, organizations should foster:
Cross functional team building while discouraging silo building,
Creative, independent, thinking and support new perspectives,
Risk taking by discouraging the status quo, and
Individual thinkers who put oneself outside of the parameters of a job function to see the bigger picture.
The value and importance of knowledge and learning within organizational innovation is crucial. Innovation is about change, new ideas, and looking outside of oneself to understand one’s environment. One way to think differently and get new ideas is through continuous learning. Learning builds such skills as thinking, analysis, and processing which promote new ideas and creativity. Therefore, learning becomes a requirement of organizational innovation.
The benefit of learning and knowledge can only be realized once put into practice. If new organizational knowledge doesn’t result in change, either in processes, business outcomes, or increased customers or revenue, then its value hasn’t been translated into success.
The road to organizational innovation lies in the ability to impart new knowledge to company employees and in the application of that knowledge. Knowledge should be used for new ways of thinking - as a stepping stone for creativity - and toward change and innovation.