INNOVATION is NOT a ROCKET SCIENCE

I had the privilege to attend the Management Development Program (MDP) at the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) from August 15-September 9, 2016 and I can proudly say that it is the best training experience I have had in years. Hard as it may seem but it was all worth it. With this, I truly appreciate and thank Philex Management for giving me this once in a lifetime training opportunity that will surely enhance my professional growth and career as a whole.
I had apprehensions during the first days as I did not have any inkling on what to expect. The fact that I was the only participant from the mining sector, only added jitters as I was always asked  regarding mining and Gina Lopez every time a new professor comes in. As the lone representative of the mining industry, it was my duty to explain what responsible mining was all about.

Going back to the program, I had the opportunity to learn about systems thinking, industry environmental analysis, language of business, financial analysis, human capital management, operations management, marketing management, supply chain management, negotiation, strategy formulation and implementation, the business strategy game and the balance scorecard.

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What struck me the most was the session in strategic innovation wherein our professor kept on repeating the phrase “innovation is not a rocket science”. Indeed it is not. In his classic example was a soap factory under fire due to a complaint from a customer buying a box of bar soap with no soap inside. While they claim it as a glitch in their operation, they still had to ensure that it will not happen again. They were looking at complicated, hi-tech, state of the start monitoring machines but it would be very expensive and would certainly add up to their operating cost. This in turn will affect their selling cost which is not very good at that time as their product was affected negatively by the complain. This problem was cascaded to the whole organization and to their surprise, an operator in their manufacturing plant was able to come up with a very cheap and simple solution. He put a strong electric fan after the packing/sealing line of their process plant. With this, empty soap boxes, if ever, would be blown away!!! Innovative? Big Yes! Common sense? Bigger Yes! In other words, innovation is just common sense!

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Most of the time we scale heights to look for answers or solutions to our problems when in fact, it might just be within our reach. In all our MDP sessions, it was always reiterated that COMMUNICATION will be the key to success. How would the operator know when to react if he did not know the problem their company was facing. If not for the company informing all its employees of their problem, it would have remained as a corporate level problem. We just ALL have to listen and speak up. Improve our communication and I’m sure you will, as I did, agree that innovation is not a rocket science! With over a couple hundred years of experience between  us, fueled by our desire for operational excellence, we can tackle any difficulties that may come our way. Let us always be aware of our situation and always be a part of our organization. We were all hired for a reason and so we must nurture and build on that reason for our continued existence in the organization we are in.
Thank you.

From M.L. Agyao

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