There’s a hurdle executives must overcome when it comes to innovation. When asked, 70 percent of senior executives say that innovation will be a leading driver of organizational growth for the next three to five years, according to research conducted by McKinsey and Company. At the same time, 65 percent of senior executives express concern and disappointment in their organization’s ability to foster innovation.
If executives aspire to innovate, what makes it so challenging? Likely, it’s because innovation is misunderstood as a concept, and often difficult in execution.
At first glance, innovation is most often seen through the lens of redefinement. Innovation is usually connected to those who push beyond the status quo, and implement new and advanced methodologies, technologies and techniques. But the implementation of ideas is actually only a byproduct of innovation itself. Implementation, more provocatively known as disruption, happens after the true innovation is completed, and both processes are critical to make progress.
True innovation lies at the research level, where ideas are generated, experiments are conducted and new concepts are discovered by scientists, mathematicians and technical professionals. Those who continuously innovate — no matter the scale or industry — share the following commonalities:
- A dedication to the scientific method of hypothesizing, experimenting, observing and iterating.
- An understanding of the value of an incorrect hypothesis, and the ability to learn from prior research even when it has unexpected results.
- An inspiration driving their belief that they will create or discover something novel.
What does innovation look like at Trill A.I.?
Innovation rests at the core of who we are as an organization. It’s the mindset that forces us to view ourselves (and our future) beyond the products and solutions we create, and see ourselves first as a collective group of creative, scientific minds. Through that lens, it’s impossible to be satisfied with the developments we’ve created and implemented thus far. The inspiration to innovate forces us all to continue to ask questions, to expand on what is, and to discover what is to come. At Trill, there are two essential elements to our innovation:
- Adaptation is life, and stagnation is death. Our success hinges on our ability to operate as both an applied financial technology firm, as well as an artificial intelligence research company. With the practical and innovative elements of Trill working in tandem, we can then implement cutting-edge techniques on financial data, and work to advance those techniques with new ideas — hypothesizing, experimenting and discovering new ways of thinking about financial data and machine learning.
- Fail wisely and document everything. The concept of failing fast is not new; it’s a tech-startup mantra. It is one of the few advantages startups have over larger companies that have to overcome their massive inertia before they can change directions. However, the failing fast ideology comes with many degrees of freedom in interpretation and execution, begging the questions, “How different should our iterative changes be?”, and “How much data is required to take action?”
It is easy to keep failing fast and go nowhere; however, the ultimate goal of failing fast is to learn what works. To that end we put in place practices to ensure we are not iterating just to be agile, and to increase our likelihood of discovering how we can improve. By identifying what elements of a hypothesis work, constantly asking ‘why?’, and heavily documenting the process along the way, we continue to innovate and create value.