Power of Individual Innovation Accelerators
Organizations don’t innovate. Individuals do. We design organizations to execute and optimize. To remain relevant, organizations must create an internal army of Innovation Accelerators, with an environment to test, try, fail, and succeed. They must enable individuals to build a core competency of innovation.
Corporate innovation works only when individuals within the organization can drive innovation. As we said before, an organization can’t innovate, but its people can. These individuals are the key to survival in a changing world.
System is Rigged Against Innovation
Unfortunately, the system is rigged against innovation. Rigged by default. Innovating means changing the status quo to create new value. To do something that adds or changes the existing value equation. The systems are pulling in the wrong direction for innovation.
For instance, HR hires talent to run an optimization engine. We measure and reward talent to drive this engine. Similarly, compliance and Legal are there to protect and mitigate risk in the existing system. Organizations do not traditionally train individuals to innovate. Nor reward or hire for innovation. Organizations hire optimizers and executors of the status quo systems and existing business models. When an organization doesn’t innovate, it is doing what it is designed to do.
Innovation Journey is Difficult
This focus on the existing business works when the underlying model doesn’t need to change. As we’ve seen, though, this core assumption, that companies will be able to maintain the status quo for a long time, is being challenged. Accelerating change forces companies to adapt sooner than desired or suffer the consequences.
Once you understand that the innovation journey will be difficult (and inevitable), it gives you a chance to push through the challenges that are occurring during the journey. We’ve found that embracing this fact helps companies begin the journey with a better mindset. In addition, it helps explain the obstacles faced. And provides context for the difficulty. It provides a window into why things aren’t making progress. And it allows you to redefine and relook at what must happen to innovate.
A Company of Innovation Accelerators will Innovate
Recognizing that the system will fight like antibodies to rid it of the changes gives you a fighting chance to acknowledge these barriers. It also helps you develop ways around them. In other words, if you build a company of Innovation Accelerators, they will innovate. Let us know how you are building your army of Innovation Accelerators at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More Innovation Tips
- Increase your Innovation Risk Appetite
- Urgency: Demonstrate Action and Experimentation
- Innovation Vision: What’s Yours?
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