When I think of innovation, I often picture new technologies or certain outlooks that promote alternative solutions to how we currently operate. Sometimes such innovations have led to drastic shifts in how we view and go about our daily lives. One example that comes to mind is how Apple had once revolutionized the music industry with using their iPod devices to store mass music files and how music was being sold online. Since then, with internet connection and its infrastructure becoming more robust, we are now in an era where we can directly stream music directly from platforms and do not have to download files anymore.
So, how do we translate large scale changes and innovation from an organizational standpoint? Research from Dron (2014) examines how such innovation changes should be managed within various environments. In order for change and innovation to occur and flourish, there needs to be certain conditions that can encourage such changes to take place. It can be a challenge for new technological advancements or even processes to be incorporated into an “environment of constraints full of ossified paths and histories that cannot be easily rewritten” (Dron, 2014). To recognize these potential barriers, organizations should design strategies to encourage and support people directly within their positions to take risks and foster a level of innovation, as oppose to removing them from their day to day functions in order to do so (Brown, 2009 as cited in Dron, 2014). As a result, this can provide a safe and encouraging space for employees to develop a growth mindset and to foster a level of creativity that can benefit the overall organization. Adopting such an approach can transform a stagnant environment into one that becomes a breeding ground for innovation, change, and growth.
Dron, J. (2014). Chapter 9: Innovation and Change: Changing how we Change. In Zawacki-Richter, O. & T. Anderson (Eds.), Online distance education: Towards a research agenda. Athabasca, AB: AU Press.