Category: Innovations Stories

How They make themselves innovative?

Innovators – “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower,” Steve Jobs said.

If we want our companies across the board to be more innovative, we need more innovative leaders; leaders who have the ability to turn new ideas and technologies into assets that will transform their businesses and, by extension, our economy.

In order to educate and support innovative leaders, we should first identify what characterizes them. Some of the characteristics innovative business leaders embody include the following:

1.Doing things differently

Being innovative means doing things differently or doing things that have never been done before. An innovator is someone who has embraced this idea and creates environments in which employees are given the tools and resources to challenge the status quo, push boundaries and achieve growth.

2.Innovators are authentic leaders

Innovators are authentic leaders committed to creating dynamic, highly productive and values-based organizations that hire people who are passionate about their work; give them opportunities to grow; make them feel valued and respected; and give them clarity about their roles and responsibilities.

3.Innovators understand innovation never happens in a vacuum

Innovators understand innovation never happens in a vacuum. They value, build and sustain active, vibrant networks of people, assets, and organizations. Instead of viewing collaboration as a challenge, they see it as an opportunity to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

4.Committed to diversity

Innovators are committed to diversity and understand it takes many different points of view to fully grasp the complexity of economic, technological and other challenges.

5. They empower employees to be creative

Innovators have let go of the high-control, low-trust model of leadership and lead by directing from the center of their organizations. They empower employees to be creative and develop the skills they need to move to the next level in their careers.

6.Not taking shortcuts

Innovators are not taking shortcuts and are not afraid of going after more complex solutions, even if it means taking higher risks.

7.Innovation is not a one-time thing

Innovators understand innovation is not a one-time thing and that start-up companies as well as those that are several generations old have to continuously reach above and beyond what they have done before to stay competitive. This requires innovators to be effective change managers who know how to navigate through resistance to their ideas.

8. They are aware customers

Innovators are not afraid to break with the norm and push past conventional wisdom that causes people to think in a box. They are aware customers don’t always know what they want.

9. Their business success speaks for itself

Innovators understand paying too much attention to traditional business metrics can inhibit companies from making breakthroughs. At the same time, however, their business success speaks for itself.

10. Innovators contribute new, unconventional ideas of their own.

Innovation takes place on many levels. The big breakthroughs usually get the attention. But if we want America to maintain its competitive edge in the long run, we need to encourage, support and celebrate innovation on a smaller, much broader scale, as well. It all starts with leadership. So let’s make sure our companies can identify innovative leadership when they see it – and seize it.

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Smart City Innovative Bins

Multipurpose Smart Street Bin describes the scope of work of “Smart Bins” in managing the waste collection system for an entire city. The network of sensors enabled smart bins connected through the cellular network generates a large amount of data, which is further analyzed and visualized at real time to gain insights about the status of waste around the city.

Benefits of using Smart Bins

To manage waste collection through Sensor Based Smart Dustbins

  • It will stop overflowing of dustbins along roadsides and localities as smartbins are managed at real time.
  • The filling and cleaning time of smart bin will also be reduced thus making empty and clean dustbins available to common people.
  • It also aims at creating a clean as well as green environment.
  • By using the route algorithm it will smartly find the shortest route thus it will reduce the number of vehicles used for garbage collection.
  • Send optimized routes directly to drivers.
  • It will reduce fuel Consumption.
  • Less amount of fuel consumed by vehicles thus can save a large amount of money as well.

Smart  Bins with sensors

LED Display System for public information

Wi-Fi Hotspot

Street  Information Boards

The main objective of Smart City mission is to promote cities that give a decent quality of life to its citizen, a clean and sustainable environment. The new technologies by can provide visibility on solid waste management, route planning for garbage collection, resource optimization, efficient maintenance, visibility of waste bins etc.

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What is an innovation lab and how do they work?

Organization, including fortune 500 companies have become more collaborative to accelerate innovation in their internal and external channels.PWC, Unilever, kimberly-clark, Microsoft, Infosys, American airlines and many more are on board ,why?

Because there’s so much we can draw out from collective wisdom

(They have a million ways to help you nail down what you want to achieve)

Labs are now commonplace across industries from retail, to telecoms and travel.

But what exactly is an innovation lab, and how do they work?

How to define an innovation lab?

The drawing below shows there are many ways to encourage innovation within a business.

Some of these involve a strategic and goal-focused unit, perhaps focused on a specific area like big data, tasked with creating anything from a new product or service to a new technology or business model.

Other innovation initiatives may not be physically co-located, they can be as radical as Google’s model of 20% ‘free’ time for workers to innovate, or simply involve setting up a group to collaborate with other industries, startups, or academia.

The challenges of setting up an innovation lab

Andra Sonea, systems architect, eloquently sums up some of the many questions that companies need to ask themselves in the course of creating an innovation lab.

I’ll paraphrase slightly as follows:

  • What roles should be filled?
  • What types of people make the best innovators?
  • Should you recruit from inside the company or look for fresh perspectives?
  • Do you define a governance framework from the beginning or let it evolve?
  • What projects will you prioritise?
  • How do you integrate with the rest of the organisation and not be perceived as outlaws?
  • Do you need dedicated infrastructure?
  • How can ideas be tested softly? Who are your actual clients?

The aims of the innovation lab

Whilst the goal of any innovation lab is ultimately to create new revenue streams or bolster existing ones by improving productivity or speed, there is much more to consider.

Many of the methods of encouraging innovation represent both means and an end. For example, a new culture of working may be beneficial for productivity, but in its own right can make for a happier workforce.

So, what are some of the common aims of the innovation lab?

Incubating a new culture

Many think of culture as the wishy washy side of both innovation and digital transformation.

Fixing broken windows (the idea of new office decor, relaxed dress code and seating, and Macs for all) can often be seen as an empty gesture – snacks can only make a company so much more enjoyable to work at.

However, these changes are an important step when combined with a focus on new ways of working – customer centric, data driven, tech-enabled.

Communication between a lab and other teams, often involving a cross-functional team, is important in instigating a ‘test, learn, iterate’ culture.

One of the challenges of the lab, as Sean Cornwell of Travelex states (though referring to broader digital transformation), is avoiding the cool kids in the corner syndrome.

Incubating culture is a fine balance and further down the line may ultimately hinge on hiring and firing.


Fairly obviously, this is a large part of what innovation labs promise. That can involve hackathons or day-long collaborative events.

Innovation labs may work on proposals submitted from across the business, even involving a competition element to reward teams or employees.

At the lighter end of the lab scale, hack spaces or CX demos can be created merely to demonstrate the latest tech in a particular industry and encourage staff or even clients to think big.

Open data

This isn’t always an aim of innovation labs, but opening up data for third parties to innovate can be a good method of early product development in certain industries.

Nesta, the British innovation charity, runs the Open Data Challenge with the Open Data Institute, which has spawned new digital products and boasts a five to tenfold ROI.

One such product built on open data is Movemaker, an ‘app for house hunters, which helps people living in social housing swap their properties’.

 There are many positives for opening Innovation Labs but these are only one element of innovation. I think key is combining the right mix of teams, a mix of technical expertise, business expertise and creativity and of course speed to market for new products. Hence alot of the great new innovations, like Hive, seem to be emerging from startups where everyone is encouraged to innovate.

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Energy Exchange without Social Dynamics will come up short: Rhythima; Young Innovator from India

Youthful  Indian lady who is doing some astounding work. Her emphasis lies on including social and social esteems in energy exchanging, helping to adopt clean energy solutions faster.

Current scenario

Current energy exchange models are fully rational and focused on monetary earnings, Rhythima, however, acknowledged that there is actually much more at stake on the local level, where people do not always want to charge their neighbours for making use of their solar panels.

This gap in the status quo between electrification and innovations in the technology is preventing widespread adoption of microgrids and similar technologies because the models often fail. Rhythima is putting all her effort into changing this and applying models that do incorporates social and cultural values. Her work is tremendously important in serving the rural poor with electricity so that their lives can improve by installing lightning, cooling fans, refrigerators or televisions.

All the existing solutions look at either supply side issues, meaning the perspective from the energy provider, or they focus only on the demand side issues, meaning the consumer perspective. None of them focus their solution on a community level.

Who is Rhythima

At IIT Bombay, Prof. Ravi from IIT Bombay (BeTiC lab) showed her the beauty of small technological innovations for large societal challenges. Combined with the motivation of her parents, that urged her to what she loved instead of going for the big-money jobs, she decided to pursue her research career. She left to the Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands, where she got the chance to expand her work on create solutions that could help change India, and the world, for the better. Prof. Paulien Herder, and Dr. Amineh Ghorbani supervised her to a stunning 9.5 for her master thesis, where she examined the influence of different (social) policies on the adoption of solar panels in rural areas, which will help companies and governments to adopt better practices.

In her masters thesis in policy analysis at TU Delft, She worked on this problem and came up with a framework, which tries to model how regulations or rules can be adapted around the changing community.

But Rhythima did not stop there. Combining a second master thesis in computer science in Zurich, with the start of an organisation called Energy Bazaar, she is putting her learnings into practice, creating actual solutions for increasing energy access. By developing decentralised energy markets, soon energy could become available anywhere….for anyone.

One of such project in making is Energy Bazaar, where they bring decentralized energy exchanges to rural Indian households, with grid optimizations and control.

A debt of gratitude is in order for your work Rhythima and keep innovating!

Rhythima Shinde

Researcher, ETH Zurich | Co-founder, Energy Bazaar

 I would like to thank Yvo Hunink  for his input. 

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