The 97th Floor Mastermind Series recently interviewed IdeaScale about our company, our industry, our vision for the future and more, but we thought that one of their questions about what values we look out for when building a team are worth repeating here for those of you that are looking to build a culture of innovation at your company (whether it’s start-up sized like IdeaScale or not).
If you’re in charge of innovation, it means that you’re constantly being surprised. Not just because technology and trends are emerging that are impacting your business in new and unexpected ways, but almost every project that you’re working on continues to evolve and improve over time.
If you’re working with an innovation management platform, then you know the importance of building a community. The success of these programs is intrinsically linked to the spirit and engagement of your community: how much they participate, how they’re participating, why they’re participating.
Innovation isn’t a one-time project. It’s a continuous activity. Which is why we are seeing numerous organizations adding an innovation department to their company infrastructure. In fact, in a recent survey of our client base, we were surprised to learn that almost 40% of our customers operate out of a dedicated innovation group.
Lots of industries care about intellectual property and proprietary information, but perhaps none more so than the automotive industry where product development is seen as the competitive edge.
When the Commission for Environmental Cooperation launched a challenge to the youth of North America, they received hundreds of unique, green business proposals. The young entrepreneurs competed for seed funding and came up with some truly disruptive ideas.
When I say “innovator,” what image comes to mind? A brilliant, but misunderstood figure hunched over a drawing board by the light of a single lamp in the middle of the night – cup of coffee dwindling slowly, pages of crumpled notes on the floor?
In an Innovation Point article, Founder Soren Kaplan notes that only one third of Fortune 1000 companies have defined innovation metrics. And yet 77% of business leaders see innovation as a priority. How is it possible that something that is so important to business leaders doesn’t have a defined set of KPIs?
Even if your organization doesn’t yet have an embedded innovation program, I can guarantee that your organization cares about finding opportunities for savings. That’s why programs like LEAN and Six Sigma continue to do so well. There are always new ways to improve efficiency and time saved almost always means money saved.
One of the greatest challenges facing innovation professionals is to find the right approach to a given innovation problem. Whether that’s instilling the innovation mojo in a large corporation or simply helping teams become more innovative, the ways to do this seem to be more of an art than a science. However, during the last ten years there has been a strong push to turn this art form into more of a science.
To amplify your company’s presence and scale your influence, innovation teams need to harness informal networks and not simply rely on formal structures to create a thriving innovation eco-system. Enter Innovation Catalysts: natural champions who are believers, idea generators, problem solvers, mentors and sponsors in your organization.
Often I read articles or books about top-down vs. bottom-up innovation and why one approach would be better than the other. After spending more than five years in the collaborative innovation space, I would advise going hamburger style!
Innovation tends to thrive in an environment where there are less bureaucratic restraints and an appetite for calculated risk. However, without a structured management system in place, experimentation can go awry and great ideas risk falling by the wayside. This is where accountability and autonomy can provide the essential framework to support the innovation process to its full potential.
We often think that a great new idea will speak for itself — that people will automatically see that it is awesome. But that’s often untrue. There are two other crucial components needed before an idea can truly change the world. Tim Kastelle explains more on the TEDx stage.
If you have an innovative culture already in place (meaning you’re working with stuff like agile project management, design thinking, lean, etc.) perhaps it’s time you consider Applied Improvisation Training. If instead you are a static and uncommunicative company, Applied Improvisation may even work against your innovation efforts. Edoardo Binda Zane explains more.