Managing vs. Innovating “Social”

by Jay Deragon on 08/13/2010

Everyone is  learning or trying to learn how to manage all this social stuff. As soon as they think they have the management process down the tools and dynamics change. Subsequently people and organizations find themselves stuck in managing irrelevant processes and messages which means they lose productivity and worse yet any chance for a relationship of any sort.

Managing Operations vs. Innovation

You can manage a process and an entire system if both are stable, predictable and redundant. You cannot manage a process or system in a constant state of change. Trying to do so will only make things worse which is tampering with something you don’t understand.

When managing daily operations, you know:

  • what results should be
  • what steps are required to achieve them, and
  • who should do what along the way.

Managing innovation is quite different from managing operations as:

  • you always have less information available to make choices than you’d like
  • innovation has not a single goal, but multiple and unclear goals, and
  • each of these goals can be reached through multiple routes.
  • Managing innovation requires specific approaches. “If you try to manage the uncertainty inherent in innovation with tools and thinking designed for the relative certainty of operations, you’ll run into trouble… You’ll be continuously surprised as your assumptions prove false”.

    The most effective way to deal with uncertainty inherent in innovation is to have a learning process that “systematically confronts the unknown with new hypotheses, tests them, and eventually creates a new knowledge”.

    When innovating, you cannot figure it all out and ahead of time and stick to one plan; so, don’t wait – just go for it, learn and adjust as you go. That’s why “successful innovators get used to moving forward, backing up, going sideways, chasing parallel paths for a while, consolidating, and then going forward again”.

    Managing vs. Thinking About Innovation

    Managing something requires knowledge of the system whose aim is well-defined. Typically the aim is a result. Knowledge of your system comes from understanding operational processes that support efficient and effective throughput which enhances the end results. If the markets behavior changes and the buyer finds better products, better ways to get the product and more efficient interaction during the process then your old system gets disrupted. Being disrupted means things are no longer predictable, stable and thus change is required to manage things.

    The first required change is learning to “think” differently about what, when, where, how and who created the changes in the market. Thinking differently requires you to let go of old beliefs and learn to understand new beliefs. A change in beliefs means a change in philosophy. Changing ones philosophy isn’t about managing people and processes. What it means is learning to innovate by what and how you think. Without understanding what and how the buyer thinks means you are out of touch with the markets philosophy.

    You can only understand the markets philosophy when you understand what created it.

    { 16 comments }

    tetradian (Tom Graves) August 15, 2010 at 2:43 am

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    RT @oscarberg: Managing vs. Innovating “Social” [link to post] #innovation #social Posted using Chat Catcher

    bsainsbury (Bonnie Sainsbury) August 14, 2010 at 1:05 pm

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    Managing vs. Innovating “Social” [link to post] You cannot manage a process or system in a constant state of change.

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    SriniSAchanta (Srini Achanta) August 14, 2010 at 10:07 am

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    RT @oscarberg: Managing vs. Innovating “Social” [link to post] #innovation #social

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    lexmcmahonMMA (Lex McMahon) August 14, 2010 at 10:06 am

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    RT @mchammer: RT @JDeragon: Managing vs. Innovating “Social” ##socialmedia ##socialstrategy ##socialbusiness [link to post]

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    celeb_in_ja (??????????????) August 14, 2010 at 10:04 am

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    [@MCHammer]RT @JDeragon: Managing vs. Innovating “Social” ##socialmedia ##socialstrategy ##socialbusiness [link to post]

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    TweetDiscovered (Ben Shoemate) August 14, 2010 at 9:48 am

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    RT @gervis:What makes managing innovation so different from managing operations? [link to post] via @JDeragon:

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    gervis (Gerrit Visser) August 14, 2010 at 9:19 am

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    What makes managing innovation so different from managing operations? [link to post] via @JDeragon:

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    oscarberg (Oscar Berg) August 13, 2010 at 1:54 pm

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    Managing vs. Innovating “Social” [link to post] #innovation #social

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    eaglesflite (Dale Lawrence) August 13, 2010 at 1:04 pm

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    RT @JDeragon: Managing vs. Innovating “Social” ##socialmedia ##socialstrategy ##socialbusiness [link to post]

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    drbret (Bret L Simmons) August 13, 2010 at 12:10 pm

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    RT @eaglesflite: RT @JDeragon: Managing vs. Innovating “Social” ##socialmedia ##socialstrategy ##socialbusiness [link to post]

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    PraiseWalker (PraiseWalker) August 13, 2010 at 8:29 am

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    Managing vs. Innovating “Social” | [link to post] #LGS #SMMGR

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    social_insider (Social Media Insider) August 13, 2010 at 6:14 am

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    Managing vs. Innovating “Social” [link to post] #Socialmedia

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    josephgrasso (Joe Grasso) August 13, 2010 at 6:02 am

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    Managing vs. Innovating “Social”: You can only understand the markets philosophy when you understand wh… [link to post] [email protected]

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    JDeragon (JDeragon) August 13, 2010 at 6:00 am

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    Think: Managing vs. Innovating “Social” [link to post]

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    DusanVrban (Dušan Vrban) August 13, 2010 at 5:12 am

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    RT @JDeragon: Think: Managing vs. Innovating “Social” [link to post]

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    AronStevenson (Aron Stevenson) August 13, 2010 at 4:56 am

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    Managing vs. Innovating “Social” [link to post] #socialmedia

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