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Showing posts with the label innovation

The Hard Truth About Innovative Cultures

A culture conducive to innovation is not only good for a company’s bottom line. It also is something that both leaders and employees value in their organizations. In seminars at companies across the globe, I have informally surveyed hundreds of managers about whether they want to work in an organization where innovative behaviors are the norm. I cannot think of a single instance when someone has said “No, I don’t.” Who can blame them: Innovative cultures are generally depicted as pretty fun. When I asked the same managers to describe such cultures, they readily provided a list of characteristics identical to those extolled by management books: tolerance for failure, willingness to experiment, psychological safety, highly collaborative, and nonhierarchical. And research supports the idea that these behaviors translate into better innovative performance. But despite the fact that innovative cultures are desirable and that most leaders claim to understand what they entail, they are

The Five Characteristics of Successful Innovators

There is not much agreement about what makes an idea innovative, and what makes an innovative idea valuable. For example, discussions on whether the internet is a better invention than the wheel are more likely to reveal personal preferences than logical argumentation. Likewise, experts disagree on the type and level of innovation that is most beneficial for organizations. Some   studies   suggest that radical innovation (which does sound sexy) confers sustainable competitive advantages, but   others   show that “mild” innovation – think iPhone 5 rather than the original iPhone – is generally more effective, not least because it reduces market uncertainty. There is also inconclusive evidence on whether we should pay attention to consumers’ views, with some   studies   showing that a customer focus is detrimental for innovation because it equates to playing catch-up, but   others   arguing for it. Even Henry Ford’s famous quote on the subject – “if I had asked people what they

Great Businesses Scale Their Learning, Not Just Their Operations

Ronald Coase nailed it back in 1937 when he identified scalable efficiency as the key driver of the growth of large institutions. It’s far easier and cheaper to coordinate the activities of a large number of people if they’re within one institution rather than spread out across many independent organizations. But here’s the challenge. Scalable efficiency works best in stable environments that are not evolving rapidly. It also assumes that the constituencies served by these institutions will settle for standardized products and services that meet the lowest common denominator of need. Today we live in a world that is increasingly shaped by exponentially improving digital technologies that are accelerating change, increasing uncertainty, and driving performance pressure on a global scale. Consumers are less and less willing to settle for the standardized offerings that drove the success of large institutions in the past.   Ourresearch   into the long-term decline of return on a

Five Ways To Kickstart Innovation And Build It Into Your Company Culture

Creating a culture of innovation is flat-out hard work. What makes it hard work is that you have to be, in essence,  focused on serendipity .  The juxtaposition of “focus” and “serendipity” is paradoxical, and tricky to maintain as a frame of mind personally and in an organization. Even though it’s hard work, it’s not exceptionally complicated, but you’d be forgiven for thinking otherwise. When it comes to a culture of innovation, consultants and thought leaders have a way of adding more complication than clarity. Here, I hope to be an exception, with the following list of ways to break this down so you can get to work. 1. Honor Thy Accidents.   While it’s great to hit what you aim for, to make the metaphorical slam dunk, success comes at least as often from responding well when your efforts land you somewhere other than your intended target. If that “somewhere else” is embraced by the public in a way that has commercial value, please stop thinking of it as an accident, somethi

Connection culture creates a marketplace of ideas that fuels innovation: Michael Lee Stallard

The best time to establish a  connection culture  is when an organisation is born  Michael Lee Stallard  tells  Ankita Rai How do employee connection and community translate into competitive advantage for an organisation? Is focusing on the financials and operations at the cost of employee connect really such a bad idea? High performing teams that achieve sustained success have connection cultures. The neuroscientist Matthew Lieberman describes connection as a 'superpower' because it makes people more productive, healthier and happier. When people feel connected to their teammates, they have a cognitive advantage and they perform at with greater energy and enthusiasm. In addition, they give their best efforts, align their behaviour with the leader's goals so that everyone is pulling in the same direction, and are proactive when it comes to contributing to innovation and overcoming obstacles. These benefits add up to provide a powerful source of competitive adv