I recently conducted an innovation workshop in Kuala Lumpur. The energy and enthusiasm for innovation from firms that attended is really impressive. We had attendees from Malaysia and Thailand, as well as from Sudan. For all the firms represented, innovation represents a method to drive new differentiation and new revenues based on new products, new services and new business models.
It’s interesting to see how quickly firms of all types and all industries, in all regions, are understanding the importance of innovation. Whether it was an oil and gas company, a research firm, a cell phone provider or a firm that offers outsourced software development, all understood the power that innovation offers their business and the possibilities for future growth.
As I mentioned in my previous post, while they all understand how important innovation can be to their businesses, they also face some of the same constraints that innovators face in the US and Europe. Bosses who talk about innovation but don’t provide resources, competing priorities, cultures attuned to operational excellence rather than innovation face these innovators – here and across the globe.
Given the energy, excitement and enthusiasm here, though, I’m willing to bet we’ll see a lot of innovation from Malaysia, Thailand and other countries in Southeast Asia. The energy and dynamism is palpable, and change seems almost inevitable. These countries are ones to watch, as they strive to stay abreast of their larger neighbor to the north, and as each becomes a cross-roads for people and ideas.
There’s a strong belief that good innovation happens when many ideas or cultures meet. Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and other countries that welcome many people, many cultures and many ideas will be the starting points for many new ideas, as many people and many cultures mix.
Jeffrey Phillips is a senior leader at OVO Innovation. OVO works with large distributed organizations to build innovation teams, processes and capabilities. Jeffrey is the author of “Make us more Innovative”, and innovateonpurpose.blogspot.com.