Innovative thinking is a creative thought process used to generate ideas and solutions. It is a complex task that involves finding new methods to approach problems or procedures. Innovative thinking produces results that change or challenge the status quo. In the workplace, this means looking for ways to think differently to produce better business practices for both employees and customers.Examples of innovative thinking skills; The traits innovators possess that help them contribute new ideas are enumerated as under.
Author: Brig V Raghu
Creativity : Creativity is often associated with artistic talents, but being creative can be a mindset or a way of looking at the world differently. Creative individuals generate ideas through multiple methods like brainstorming and group input. They also implement methods to put new ideas into practice.
Originality : Innovative thinkers find new ways to express their ideas. They change the status quo with their inventiveness, conceiving unique ideas to share with others. Innovators are often the first ones to come up with a new approach because they look for ways to do something different.
Problem-solving: Those who practice innovative thinking naturally find ways to solve problems. By seeking alternative ways to make something work, they often learn from failure and aren't afraid to take risks. Instead of seeing an impossible task, they find the challenge invigorating. Innovators might change a process or come up with another solution half-way through a project because they refuse to give up.
Critical thinking: Innovators use inductive and deductive reasoning to analyze a situation and arrive at a solution. To innovate, these thinkers synthesize information and make connections to interpret information and draw conclusions. Critical thinking also means evaluating ideas and reflecting throughout the process. Innovators look at a problem by thinking about how one part affects the other or the whole.
Curiosity: Innovators ask lots of questions about the world around them. They keep asking "Why?" and "How?" because they want to know the result of their idea. They also question conventional methods of doing something if they think the process can be improved.
Collaboration: Innovators get others involved in their plans. They are willing to make compromises to fulfill a common goal. They share responsibility for success and failure. Innovators see the potential in others and use the skills of their peers to help turn an idea into a reality.
Communication: Those who innovate can share their ideas effectively. They can communicate and elaborate on their own creative thinking. Innovators are also able to motivate and foster innovation in others.
Innovative Thinking in improving Efficiency in Public Administration
The modernisation of public administration involves public service provision more efficiently, faster and at lower costs, as well as rethinking the processes and procedures associated to governance based on the use of ICT and knowledge management. It also refers to applying the national strategy and actions plans aimed at administration modernization in the knowledge society. The use of ICT applications triggers the change in public administration by valorizing the opportunities and instruments determining important benefits for society and improving the public value. Public administration has to face the fast and accelerating socio-economic changes, to account for the opportunities provided by new technologies and to develop new services, focusing on openness, transparency and citizen participation. The administrative reforms should be opted/implemented “during times when fiscal constraints and budget consolidation pressures become increasingly tighter”. In view to enhance India’s competitiveness, public administration modernisation should focus on; “reforms of the institutional framework conditions under which private enterprises operate and implementation of internal measures in light to improve the quality of service provision by increasing the capacities and incentives of public administration in order to provide goods and services in an integrated, reliable, flexible, efficient and effective manner”. There shold be emphasis on high quality institutions and governance structures, physical capital, human capital and knowledge as key drivers of economic growth. Thus, public administration modernisation should focus on improvement of efficiency, effectiveness and speed of service provision, and accomplishment of high standards of predictability, reliability and accountability.
The modernisation of the public sector should be one of the key priorities in improvement of public administration. Modern public administration is an essential factor to underpin the design and delivery of policies promoting jobs, growth and competitiveness. In this context, we should focus on reforms aiming at facilitating internal and external administrative processes, such as strengthening the capacity for strategic and budgetary planning; and encouraging innovation, by introducing new organisational and communication models, and by supporting public procurement of innovative solutions. In the public administration “the innovative activities include new services or new methods of providing services in interaction with users, as well as re-organisation of work responsibilities, new support and logistics systems and new management systems. The internal public sector excellence potentially benefits from ICT through several channels: public sector employees are relieved of routine tasks, several procedural steps can be outsourced, the quality of transmitted information increases while transaction costs decrease, and some tasks can be centralized as can be seen from the practices at shared service centres. The electronic information exchange of administrative units may speed up decision-making, reduce internal processing times and thus improve regulatory management and policy enforcement. In times to come public administrations must be recognised for being open, flexible and collaborative in their relations with citizens and businesses. They use e-Government in view to increase their efficiency and effectiveness and to constantly improve public services in a way that caters for user's different needs and maximises public value, thus supporting the transition of the country to a leading knowledge-based economy. The Digital India agenda and the e- strategy are aimed at making life easier for users, the effective and efficient use of resources, ensuring the security and privacy of citizens and businesses, based on the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality, user-centricity, inclusion and accessibility, security and privacy, multilingualism, administrative simplification, transparency, preservation of information, openness, reusability, technological neutrality and adaptability, effectiveness and efficiency.
Capacity of innovation of public administration
The public administration has an important role in boosting innovation in the economy and at the same time, it should trigger innovation itself in the public organisations in order to increase productivity, to improve efficiency, to enhance the creation of public value and thus to meet the society challenges. In the knowledge society, the capacity of innovation and capacity to implement new innovations is very important for the public administration. The public organizations should be able to incorporate information, knowledge, resources within the innovation processes and to harmonise the needs of citizens and businesses. Innovation represents a prerequisite for administration’s modernization. Innovation in public administration may be considered a learning process, a modality for new service development, new technology application, for changing the organisational structures as well as for implementing new managerial approaches in light to meet the citizens, businesses, society needs and requirements in facing the new challenges of knowledge society. It can be seen from research the in public sector innovation new insights stem from taking into account the ideas, insights and experiences of citizens as end-users of the middle management of public organizations and people who are engaged on a daily basis in rendering services to society. In light to take account of insights from various groups, reveals the importance of seeing innovation as a process of co-creation. Most innovations in public administration have an ICT component. ICT is interconnected in many practices in administration as information, communication represent vital resources for public service provision, for implementing public policies and achieving projects and programmes. ICT innovative potential is determined by specific characteristics, for example the ability to process big data and to communicate beyond the temporal, functional and geographic borders. It is important to understand how public organizations are developing new ideas and new knowledge as part of innovation processes and how the organizations learn or fail to learn. On the other hand, the adoption of external ideas and innovations depends on the characteristics of organizations.
The capacity of innovation in public organisations represents not only a function of organisational characteristics, but also of internal culture, external environment and institutional framework. The capacity of innovation can be considered in a pyramid structure, with overall structural, institutional and political contextual conditions at the top and daily practices – people and culture – at the bottom. Thus, the capacity of innovation should take into consideration the contextual level, the institutional environment, the strategic and organisational level as well as the human, financial and technical resources and organisational culture. A long term clear vision and an adequate strategy can boost innovations in the public organisations, acknowledging the value of innovation which enables the employees to adapt to changing contexts. A working environment which encompasses the culture of change boosts the generation of new ideas and the feedback loops. The public organisations holding a high capacity of innovation create an organizational culture which enhances the generation and implementation of new ideas in view to generate public value for society, achieving new or improved processes and services. They focus also on implementation of modern technologies, valorising the activity of research and development. Considering innovation as ongoing sustained process, the public organisations which are open to new ideas and processes involve in networks, share knowledge and cooperate with various partners. In view to collaborate with various networks of partners, beneficiaries, customers, the organizations can turn into account various instruments such as crowd sourcing, field officers, open-source databases, online community platforms. Innovation in the public sector can be smarter procurement, citizen centric services, digital platforms, new health care systems, intelligent transport systems, embracing various other forms.
Some innovative approaches in service delivery include: Digital technologies; Information and communication technologies (ICTs) enable governments to meet new demand for online services, to tailor services to individual needs through service personalisation, and to reduce transaction costs.
Governments use ICTs to transform service delivery and engage users in the planning or delivery of services through the use of web tools. The US Federal Emergency Management Agency uses Twitter to share information with citizens during crises. Mexico has explicitly named ICTs as a key component of their strategy to modernise public service delivery.