For over three years I have been doing research related to innovation besides my day job at Nokia. This episode of personal learning quest started when I was working at Nokia Quality team and preparing reports for Nokia’s executive board. I have been working and studying at same time since I was 14 year old, so that has become a way of living for me.
In 2005 we started looking into leading indicators, possible measures and enablers for success and operational excellence. in 2005 – 2006 TEKES funded research projects InnoSpring and InnoSpa provided context and connections to researchers in academia and to other practitioners in Finnish companies. During these projects I decided to change my PhD study theme from management renewal in academia to innovation theme in business context. After a career move in 2002 from academia to business, innovation in business context was closer my own work. My dear professor Eero Eloranta was very supportive. In his own special style, which I appreciate a lot, he wondered – “.. why on earth do you have to change and choose new theme, why not to stay with one you know more off? This will require hell of a lot reading to build a body of knowledge in the area that you do not anything about!”
Exploration started. Reading articles, books, classics on innovation, change, philosophy… scouting websites, attending lectures, seminars, meetings, workshop both at Nokia and externally. Luckily we had an active group of people at corporate strategy organizing lecture series at Nokia House. My aspiration for PhD studies had been for several years in the personal development plan, that is discussed and agreed annually. So when I planned to have a study leave in October 2006 – March 2007, everything went well by following “Long Term Educational Guidelines” . So I was able to participate intensively into starting phase Rendez – research project.
Questions and more questions emerged … how to enhance innovation and innovativeness, how to enable meaningful renewal, what are the measures for the success, what factors enabling or hampering innovation and innovativeness, how to manage innovation, can you even manage innovation, what ind of measurement system ca be used to manage innovation, what if the system kills creativity and demotivates people, what are the definitions for innovation, what are the models innovation, what are the possible application areas for innovation , how innovation and innovation are rewarded and recognized….
Luckily there is a very inspiring group of people – professor David Hawk, Taina Tukainen & Tuula Antola, David Ing, Marianne Kosits and professor Annaleena Parhankangas – who have accompanied and helped me so much during this long and interesting journey, that is finally approaching it’s end. And the quest continues…