Innovation: it’s better when it’s done together

Innovation: it’s better when it’s done together

How would you rate your organization in terms of its ability to innovate? In this episode, Dave and Justin tackle the topic of how we innovate better together. Here are the notes from the show:

  • The movie Apollo 13 is a good example of how innovation happens better when different POVs come together with a singular purpose
  • Innovation no longer works through a removed R&D department, it happens best when all of the organization is involved. However, there IS a tension between being able to focus on operating the business and envisioning a new future for it.
  • The management image of the body prescribes that innovation happens as interconnected systems working together
  • Everyone is creative! Check out what ideo.org is doing in human-centered design.
  • Critical dimensions to innovation include having a “discovery-driven” mentality as well as being “always in beta”. Check out the book Discovery Driven Growth for more.
  • Companies need a mobile sensing network to innovate on an ongoing basis
  • Concept tests help you de-risk your way into innovation…learn your way into new opportunities
  • Here are some factors that lead to innovation:
    • Purpose. Organizations that involve change and innovation in their why are naturally set up.
    • Values and cultural norms. If your organization values diversity of opinion as well as taking risk, you’re more likely to innovate.
    • Flow of information. Is your business’s knowledge easily collected and shared to others? To the degree it is, it’ll be easier for you to innovate.
    • Diversity of thought and experience.Tough problems call for unique solutions and unique solutions come from diverse backgrounds.
    • Financial model. This is rarely discussed, but often applicable. If your business model has financial leverage and gives you time to “think”, you’re more likely to be able to innovate. Consider Google – they have this luxury because their primary products make them money while they sleep.
    • Leadership. This was on our list for collective intelligence as well. Innovation happens when creativity goes up and anxiety goes down. Good leadership ratchets anxiety down a notch.
  • In the Old Testament we read of the Issachar men who were 200 strong and helped David defeat Solomon. The parallel to the business world is that it’s no longer appropriate to have the few try to innovate for the many. The experiences and perspectives of the many are necessary for true and meaningful innovation.

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