Faces of Innovation: Innovating with New and Different Perspectives
As innovators, we must learn and work together, and sometimes, we need to get out of our comfort zone. As many of us have experienced, we can easily get stuck in a certain pattern and way of thinking. So, we need to rethink how we’re innovating and work together to bring in new and different perspectives.
I joined NTT i3 Innovation Team approximately three months ago, and from day one, I have greatly enjoyed learning about our internal and external landscape and how NTT i3 seamlessly marries the two. For example, my experience here has quickly shown me that with our marketing channels and customer base, we are uniquely situated in our ability to go to market. In addition, our vast intellectual property assets enable us to quickly apply, learn and build products that we can then reuse and develop further.
For instance, we have relationships with NTT companies in locations such as South Africa and Australia. As a result, we are able to look at those markets and gain a deep understanding into how they are different and what their particular needs are. We do this by talking to those individuals who are close to a particular market so that we know what the customer pain points are. And only by having this knowledge can we build in those requirements into the products we are developing. Bottom line is that as innovators, we must be open, which means being receptive to new ideas and to new ways of thinking.
As innovators, we must also keep these relationships alive. It’s essential that we foster and nurture them. This is how we gain access to specific pockets of expertise within the partner companies that can be tapped. For example, we work with operating companies at the very inception of a project to validate the ideas that we bring them. We want to get their feedback on questions like: Is there enough substance to our product idea? Will it be valuable to their customers? Do they have an opportunity to take the product to market in a way that can be nicely packaged and lead to expansion into new markets? Is there an opportunity to upsell the product to existing customers?
The operating companies are not only our channel to the customer, but they also keep our engineering teams grounded and pragmatic. They keep us connected to reality because they give us those insights into specific customer challenges and pain points that they deal with each day.
I’m a builder with a passion to build both products and teams. Whether it’s data science, IoT, or software defined networking, I am fortunate in that here at NTT i3, each day, I have the opportunity to build something new and something that provides value.
As part of the Innovation Team, I innovate by learning and working with my colleagues. And for my colleagues and me, we believe that innovation is both pragmatic and visionary, and as such, in the end, we share a common goal — to build a product that delivers value to the customer.