Creativity, innovation the recipe for success
THE rapid transformation of automotive mobility — from fossil fuel to hybrid and fully electric vehicles — is attributed to the creativity and innovativeness of the global automotive industrial community.
The transformation pace is further expedited to fulfill the demand for global environmental improvement and energy saving.
Organisations within the local automotive industry at all levels, from parts and components manufacturing to aftermarket services, research and development (R&D) and marketing, also need to attain creative and innovative ability within their workforce to remain competitive on the global scene.
There is marked distinction between creativity and innovation.
Creativity is the ability among the automotive industrial community to generate ideas, albeit product design, product development, process selections, process improvements, production management, marketing strategies and daily shop-floor problem-solving exercises.
Innovation, on the other hand, is the ability to transform ideas into practice.
Creativity is a thinking process while innovation is a productive process that adds value to ideas.
Passionate automotive entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs will go a long way should their everyday endeavours be creative and innovative. Not only are shop-floor problems readily resolved but customer satisfaction is also achieved.
Regimented shop-floor operations are no longer valid practices today. Instead, a creative and innovative ability among the workforce is the recipe for success.
A frequent grouse among local intellectuals is the lack of creativity and innovation within the local automotive industrial community.
Simple conclusions are often put forward that the scarcity of a creative and innovative ability is gauged by the number of locally developed and manufactured automotive products in the marketplace, or the number of automotive-related patents registered.
There may be some truth in the assessments.
It is a fact that creativity and innovation must be continuously inculcated to create winnings for the present and future generations of workforce, entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs in the local automotive community.
Creativity and innovation within the workforce result from knowledge, curiosity and experiences, although some may view that these abilities can be taught.
The workplace environment is a top factor to inculcate creativity and innovation.
Curiosity, imagination and intuition among automotive workers can be instilled by frequent exposures to the various and latest technologies, processes and products which will encourage them towards creative and innovative thinking.
Accessibility to the vast information on social media and multimedia should be broadened for the latest automotive development and happenings.
Fostering a creative and innovative culture requires careful planning, with a clearly-defined implementation methodology, which is still receiving little attention from the local automotive industrial community.
Many global automotive original equipment manufacturers and Tier One suppliers have since given attention to creating the right environment for creativity and innovation to flourish within their organisations.
The approaches include internal innovation contests and creative awards open to all design, technology and car enthusiasts, innovative grouping for new materials and process technologies, and project partnerships with universities, businesses and R&D institutions.
The Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI), in a modest way, has regularly inserted video presentations on advanced automotive development and information via social media.
This month, MAI will launch its portal version 3.0 (www.mai.org.my) that will serve as an enhanced platform to promote creativity and innovation.
The portal will give the automotive community a collaborative platform that can help the industry connect the dots between ideas for a game-changing approach in creating a sustainable innovation.
The portal version 3.0 was developed with simplicity in mind and is more customer-eccentric.