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Perception and Attitudes on Innovation

The McKinsey article on the Eight Essentials of Innovation, brought to mind a couple of areas for improvement for SynergenOG, serving as a useful checklist.

Noting the importance of all elements, I do think there are limitations in the implementation and execution, based on our organisation size and structure.  I believe a family-based or small organisation with a staff strength of fewer than 20 to 30 people might have resource constraints.

Innovation initiatives may suffer, especially during this period, due to other pressing priorities such as meeting sales and financial targets, quality improvements and human resources challenges.

Yes, we have to innovate, no doubt, for future of our survival and growth. However, I believe change can come in two ways:

Change perception through creativity, and change reality through innovation.

There was once a professor of strategy and philosophy who illustrated this concept. Interesting because, before this, I was never able to link philosophy with the business. Despite that, trying now to remember philosophers names and their contributions is still a challenge.

He said, innovation is to create or make changes to new things, processes etc. It requires action and takes time. Innovation is when an ROI is achieved.  Otherwise, it is only an idea.

For example, perhaps whiskey manufacturers could adapt their facility to manufacture sanitisers or car manufacturers, like Lotus or BMW manufacturing ventilators as well?

Creativity is to change the perception; it requires thinking and is instant. You can change behaviour if you change the perception. Don’t some inventions came alive just by changing perception?

One of my favourite examples of this is the TV series Whose Line Is It Anyway, where being impromptu is the main selling point and games such as Props are all about changing perceptions.

In our organisation, we will endeavour to refer to these eight elements of innovation highlighted in this article, and complementing them with some creative initiatives.


What would be your action plan using these tools?  Do you think a sole focus or a mixture of both initiatives is suitable for your organisation?


Kadam Balan is a director and a keen observer of organisational behaviour. His thoughts on the perception and attitude toward innovation was inspired by McKinsey Analysis.


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