‘Innovation’ is indeed a buzzword in today’s times which is often used in the fields of industry, engineering, technology, medicine, business and now in education too. Innovation is not only a buzzword however acts as a ‘Powerful Differentiator’ in a competitive environment. Innovation is a key facet of progress and success in various fields, and innovative leaders focus on fostering and guiding the innovation process within organizations. However, the question lies as to how ‘leaders’ can continuously and consistently drive and nurture the culture of innovation and creativity in any organisation.
Interestingly, the Forbes “World’s Most Innovative Cities”, states that eight European cities including three Swedish, three German, one French and the other Dutch, rank in the list (Darly Le Grew, 2015). It has been observed that many European nations including Sweden are emphasising inculcating the culture of creativity amongst their citizens right from a very early age. The schools and institutions, in these nations, nurture the qualities of curiosity and creativity through various pedagogies and engagement program.
In higher education, research is an important component for stimulating the ideas and more so business ideas in a business management institute. Translating research ideas into products and services is a key driver for business innovation. Research in an organisation is led by the ‘Brainpower’. The real challenge is what triggers the process of developing intellectual properties in action – resulting in several patents, copyrights and trademarks. This makes the role of research a dynamic and strategic process to drive innovation in the field of management education.
The Octagon Model of Innovation at BRIMS:
Fostering creativity and innovation in an educational institution requires a proactive and supportive leadership approach. BRIMS communicates the importance of creativity and innovation as part of its mission and values thereby creating a vision that underlines the role of these qualities in preparing students for the future.
Below is a model that BRIMS implements to promote, inculcate and nurture a culture of creativity and innovation among student and teaching fraternity:
1. Nurturing Research:
Nurturing the culture of research and innovation is a prime aim of the institute and consistent efforts have been made by the institute for its achievements through research and innovation-oriented activities. The enablers of research and development at BRIMS include research paper publications by faculty members in recognised and reputed journals, a research focus group to develop and support a conducive environment to publish in high-quality management research journals, attending and organising research Faculty Development Programs (FDPs), contributing to research conferences and participating in research competitions.
2. Innovative Conferences / Workshops:
Innovative conferences and workshops serve as an active platform for knowledge exchange, collaboration, and the cultivation of an innovation-centric mindset. Such activities at BRIMS aim to promote creativity, learning, networking, and the development of innovative solutions.
3. Collaborate to Innovate:
To generate novel ideas and solutions, BRIMS encourages interdisciplinary collaboration among faculty, students and staff. Cross-disciplinary interactions can lead to the generation of novel ideas and solutions through cross materialisation of diverse minds. Such collaborations with industry and like minded institutions expose students and faculty members to real-world challenges and provide valuable insights and opportunities for innovative collaborative projects.
4. Organise and Participate in Innovative Competitions:
Organsing and participating in innovative competitions is one of the powerful ways to stimulate creativity, foster collaboration, and showcase groundbreaking ideas. Such activities at BRIMS provide an opportunity for students and faculty members to observe and learn approaches to problem-solving in a creative way.
5. Innovative Pedagogy:
BRIMS follow Bloom’s Taxonomy format which is structured as a hierarchy, with each level representing a different cognitive skill or level of thinking. The revised Bloom’s Taxonomy includes the same six levels but with updated terminology viz. remembering, understanding, applying, analayzing, evaluating and creating. “Creating” is the highest level in Bloom’s Taxonomy, representing a cognitive skill that involves putting elements together to form a new, coherent, and functional whole. The importance of the “Creating” level in Bloom’s Taxonomy lies in its ability to foster higher-order thinking skills and promote innovation.
6. Embrace Technology:
BRIMS stays abreast of technological advancements and incorporates relevant tools and technologies into the learning environment. This enhances the learning experience and provides opportunities for creative exploration.
7. BRIMS Innovation Lab:
Through its Innovation Lab, BRIMS encourages a culture of creativity and innovation among students and faculty by fostering an environment that values new ideas and problem-solving, supporting the development of entrepreneurial skills and mindset among MBA students, providing guidance for those interested in starting their businesses, providing opportunities for hands-on, practical learning experiences where students can apply theoretical knowledge to real-world problems, enhancing their problem-solving and critical-thinking skills and facilitating networking events and workshops that connect students, faculty, and industry professionals, creating a platform for knowledge exchange and relationship-building.
8. BRIMS Connect:
Innovation, at BRIMS, encourages the sharing of ideas without fear of criticism. BRIMS connect – a communication platform at BRIMS where students, faculty and alumni connect and share all stakeholders’ achievements and developments. Best ideas in the institute are rewarded on a quarterly basis. A jury of experts from the field of innovation are invited to assess the quality and in-depth of ideas.
All the above components of the octagon model at BRIMS, helps in increasing the visibility of student and faculty and motivates others to perform better thereby upgrading standards of excellence and achievement.
Thus, the key expressions guiding innovation at BRIMS include innovation, technology and engagement to make a meaningful social impact on the lives of the global fraternity.