Innovation is a problem of FLOW, not lack of ideas

In January 2018, I decided to start my own innovation consulting practice, Khoj Lab. As I looked back at my experience in the last 10 years, a key lesson was for innovation to be successful one needs to look beyond an idea or a design. It’s important not just to have the right idea but also to synchronize it with all your stakeholders as it evolves. This cannot be accidental. It must be managed.

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Innovation is not ideation: it’s a process that enables ideas to flow towards impact

Over the last few months, I have been asking a question to designers and innovation professionals — “how is innovation different from design?” Of course, everybody has an answer but what I noticed is that the answer is always varied. The field of design does not have a core and accepted definition of innovation or design. So right off the bat, let us see how some famous folks have defined these words over the years.

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Shilpi KumarSDN Midwest
How workplace design looks to Groupon, Gogo and Herman Miller

Shilpi Kumar, a senior researcher at Herman Miller, said 10 universal modes of work — including individual, group, spontaneous and planned — define the way collaboration happens in the workplace. Leaders should identify which modes of work prevail within their own companies, she said, because it helps them think “intentionally” to support them.

“It’s very important to understand how these changes are affecting people and their environment,” Kumar said. “There are needs that are very tangible and there are needs that are intangible.”

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Shilpi Kumar