We know how to begin the journey towards innovation, but not when we have reached the goal
Life takes place between conversations with others, with ourselves or with a good book, and they are so integrated into our day-to-day life that we sometimes forget about their importance. Enriching conversations force us to think and view the world from different perspectives. Some of them merely take place, and others inspire us and persist because they help us dream or invite us to take risks and make progress. Upon looking back, we can think of conversations that opened our eyes and led us to make decisions that later turned to action.
We surround ourselves with good conversations when searching for inspiration. Sharing enables us to grow, connect with new ideas and find opportunities that had previously remained hidden from sight. It is not always easy to find a good conversation because this requires time, patience, curiosity and eagerness. By conversing with people from beyond our industry or field, we are able to discover a magical place that is far from what are familiar with. Everyone holds countless surprises, personal stories and lessons that, regardless of the work setting and other aspects, are able to inspire.
Today, it is more important than ever to find inspiration
We are faced with new technologies that we sometimes don’t know how to apply, aggressive markets, brain drain, societies with needs that evolve faster than the market, and in summary, little space for innovation. Where are the blue oceans? How do we differentiate ourselves? What is the strategy? How do we retain talent? What do we need as a company or as a society?
We must innovate and the time is now. But where do we begin? No one has created a magical formula for this. We have methods such as design thinking and lean startup, tools such as visual thinking, empathy maps or actual cases of innovation. We know how to begin the journey towards innovation, but not when we have reached the goal.
This is worrisome because we are unsure of how much to invest for a guaranteed return, and time is running out. In the past, ideas had many years of fruitful yields, but this is no longer the case since everything changes much faster. The results of beginning the journey towards innovation are difficult to predict in terms of time and form. We are corporate CEOs in a market that changes very quickly, and we are aware that we must innovate, which involves taking risks.
The only thing that differs is that now everything is global and digital, things change quickly, connected societies expect more and competitors make it harder to grow.
Inspiration sparks innovation
Any form of innovation begins with a feeling that we have discovered what the world needs and we are able to offer. This, without exception, can occur in any conversation. Therefore, creating imaginary barriers between each other is without a doubt a bad decision.
The path towards innovation begins when we open the door and realize that within and beyond our company, everyone contributes something. We must use global language and avoid technical terms; create open spaces, without hierarchies or groups, where we win as a team; and understand as soon as possible that everyone has countless inspiring stories that can help us to innovate. As we already knew, innovation begins with inspiring, conversing, collaborating, sharing and co-creating.
Nae is firmly committed to internal and external collaborations because we understand that we can achieve more together as a team. We are enriched by diversity and by forming part of something bigger, and every conversation invites us to view the world from a different perspective. Together, with our talent, knowledge, experience and passion, we are the key players of our global innovation program.
Inspired by design thinking and lean startup, we have created the Nae Dreams movement to provide the tools, channels, agility and driving forces that are needed for innovation and synergy.
When we decided to create a global innovation program, we knew that it could not be designed by a steering committee. Everyone had to form part of the program, so it needed to be designed jointly. We took a risk and faced the challenge, with everything we understood about innovation, and with the eagerness and commitment of our teams.
We are now fortunate to have an innovation model throughout the company, filled with opportunities, that we absolutely love. Above all, it is centered around people and empowers them, because anyone can come up with an idea that may spark innovation. This is the only way to create a sustainable, feasible, attainable and global model with results.
Our recipe is to place Nae’s talent in an open space for conversations and collaborations, and to stir things up by inspiring, encouraging enthusiasm, working together and ensuring that the program revolves around those involved.
As I mentioned earlier, our life is made up of conversations, and the only way to find inspiration, foster commitment, build synergies, combine perspectives and create what the world truly needs, is by listening and working together.