Barring a few well-known exceptions, large organizations have patchy records in delivering innovation consistently, partly due to its uncertain nature-equally abundant in reward and risk. In larger measure, we believe that the strait-jacketed and incremental approach that corporations are comfortable with have unwittingly created an oxymoron-‘Innovation As Usual.’ As seen by our collection of examples, innovation is not slowing down or hitting dead-ends. Breakthroughs from start-ups, academics, research labs and prodigies are gaining momentum in the digital age.
By presenting strategies for innovating at the Intersection, we have endeavored to provide a new lens that would solve problems creatively. Forming unusual combinations of ideas and diverse teams to work with them requires a leadership style that can cope with complexity. It also requires a company culture that thrives in spite of the unknown. Successful breakthroughs require leaders to commit both resources and reputation toward uncharted territories.
Adopting these strategies for innovation means implementing organizational changes, ranging from the subtle to the dramatic. You could adapt the design of workspaces, the way brainstorming sessions are conducted, how you hire, or how you do your market research, to name a few examples. Keep a close watch on the changing cultural and demographic norms and trends far beyond the traditional boundaries of your market, and you’ll be in the best possible position to create something truly remarkable.
In order to change the rules of the game in their own categories and take a fresh look at challenges, leaders must question assumptions and systematically upset traditional modes of thinking inside their own teams. Embracing intersectional innovation needs all of the above and more. All of the transformations in the digital space bring about a new sense of urgency for innovation, and also put a whole new toolset in the hands of the willing leader. From interactive collaboration tools, to big data, to virtual reality, to IoT, and to the platform economy, you will find that innovators who adapt more naturally to the intersectional world are increasingly global in mindset. The world is yours if you step into the Intersection. And it’s certainly more fun when you do.