Opinion

How vision drives innovation

In Summary

•When vision is engaged, resources are maximized.

Samuel Mpamugo
Samuel Mpamugo

Generally, innovation is a threat to the status quo and unrealistic to the practical mind. It’s easy to think that innovation is some reckless play that leads nowhere.

Innovation is not scattered effort but vision driven. Without vision, innovation is unfruitful. For the innovation process to work, it must be a conscious drive to answer a question or solve a problem.

Vision is vital to the innovation process because it creates focus. The process of solving a problem is full of trials and errors. Different aspects of the idea are tested to see how things work. Here, vision helps to give order to the messy innovation process. Changing methods irrespective, the direction is clear.

Lack of focus makes innovation look like a joke because people wonder where it’s all leading. This is why those leading innovation must approach their team with a clear direction. And this is established with one simple question: what problem do we want to solve? It helps to have a clear problem statement. That way, people are patient with the innovation process.

When vision is engaged, resources are maximized in the innovation process. If not well managed, the process can become a source of wastage. Vision keeps this in check. Trials are done with the right focus and results are measured along the way. Vision ensures that resources have targeted use.

The maximization of resources is important because for many organizations, it is limited. Some organizations don’t have a robust budget for their innovation effort. So, they may have to carry out innovation on a limited budget. In this case, proper management of resources is vital while at the same time trying to achieve innovative results. Vision helps with this management process.

The innovation process requires creativity. This means that those involved in the innovation process must produce at their best mental capacity for it to work. When there is no clear direction and when there is no set mark, creativity can be frustrated. In the innovation context, creativity has a definite goal. The iPhone was designed to solve specific problems. The vision for this smart phone organised the creativity of the team working on it to do their best work.