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How do you make innovation become part of your Organizations DNA?

What is innovation – doing something different, creating, thinking outside the box… Be it a product, service or process .

From 1 to 10 how do you rate innovation of the following organisations ?

Goodman fielder
Lucent / Alcatel
Australian Government
NSW government
Victorian government
USA government
Norwegian government

How do you make innovation become part of your DNA ?

Click here to take surveySome that come to my mind are:-

  • To encourage individuality ,
  • being different ,
  • empowering thought .
  • Embracing failure and risk taking

3 key principles espoused by Julian Berkinshaw, Professor of Strategic and International Management at London Business School and co-Founder and Research Director of the Management Lab (MLab) are

Time Out

people need slack time to work through their ideas. 3M and Google, among others, have given “innovation time off” to their scientists and engineers. But most companies struggle to justify that level of slack, and aren’t confident it would be well used anyway. So a more focused approach may be more worthwhile.
Consider, for example, the UK software company, Red Gate. They first experimented with a “coding by the sea” initiative, where they got a bunch of volunteers to take over a beach house for a few days to see if they could make progress on a software product. This then expanded to “down tools week” which is a company-wide initiative, once a year, where everyone puts their normal routine work on hold and commits to doing something new, something a bit risky, or something that has been bugging them. There is also a “sweat the small stuff” day, once a quarter, for getting on top of the creeping bureaucracy and niggling problems that accumulate over time. These activities provide the necessary time out for employees, but with a reasonable degree of focus at the same time.

Loosely defined roles.

One of the biggest obstacles to innovation is the notion of a job description – it is a sure-fire way of narrowing an employee’s focus around someone else’s view of what is important, and of not making full use of his latent skill-set. Truly innovative companies avoid giving people job descriptions, or they find creative ways of encouraging them to join multiple projects. For example, the UK consumer products company Innocent (famous for its healthy smoothies) asks all its employees to help deliver its vision, “to make natural, delicious food and drink that helps people live well and die old.” Over the last few years, its big new product lines – including a healthy Veg Pot and its This Water line – have both come from ideas conceived and developed by mid-level employees.

Tolerance of Failure.

It is axiomatic that successful innovation requires tolerance of failure. Some pharmaceutical scientists will spend an entire career working on drug development without a single one of their products reaching the market. Strange, then, that so many of our management processes, the ones that support innovation, are designed to avoid failure and to ignore it when it does happen. We can try to breed tolerance for failure through our skills as leaders of others, but we also need to find ways of institutionalising this approach. Here are a few examples. Tata Group’s annual innovation awards include a category, Dare to Try, for the best failed attempt at innovation. Advertising agency Grey has a Heroic Failure award in similar vein. HCL Technologies has a prestigious leadership development programme which executives have to apply for by putting together, among other things, a failure CV listing their u

these 3 principles are all about translating ideas into action.

Making up ideas is fun- The hard part of innovation is taking ideas and putting them work. That is where the real progress is to be made.

Do you have ideas or case studies to share on how to make innovation an every-where, all-the-time capability?

Put your idea in comments below, and the person with the best idea will win a years access to 10X online business school valued at$4,000!

Posted on November 2, 2012

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