Creating environments where innovation can thrive
Aaron Proietti is author of the new book, Today’s Innovator. He’s spent 17 years working in the innovation space, including leading initiatives at Transamerica and Capital One. Aaron believes everyone wants innovation to happen, but the traits that make the company successful are the very things that are standing in the way of innovation.
In his new book, Today’s Innovator, Aaron focuses on how to create an environment where innovation can thrive. He focuses on strategy, culture, systems and that YOU are today’s innovator. Who do you need to be to thrive in a complex organization (people, politics and traits). Aaron also examines the stages of Innovation maturity and business models. Can you have core business operations, but push innovation and invent new things? Finding the balance is difficult.
Innovation is a business competency
Systems are not set up to be innovative. You need repeatable, scalable, and sustainable ways to be innovative. Innovation should be considered a business competency. Companies used to bring in consultants to help develop ideas. When the consultants left, the idea generation stopped. They didn’t change the nature of the business. Organizations are now talking about culture and competency. When you build leadership and more nimble culture, it allows for innovation to sustain itself.
Companies need a strong champion at the highest levels of the organization. Sometimes innovation becomes vital because one aspect is not meeting objectives. The champion needs to call out roadblocks and identify which processes are broken. The champion’s job is to agitate the organization to create a new awareness or muscle.
If companies don’t have a burning platform, how can a person in the middle of the org make changes? Aaron’s book, Today’s Innovator, is designed to help them. Innovators need to build a new skill set which includes: becoming an Innovation leader, creating high performing teams, setting expectations, strong innovation network, empathy, and how to lead and promote change.
To create quick wins, start with the innovation layer, instead of the core operating business. At Transamerica, they started with the data layer, because they had tons of data and a great data science team.
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If you liked this episode, you might also enjoy Ep 95 – Steve Glaveski with Collective Campus and Episode 124 -Amy Radin, Author of The Change Maker’s Playbook.
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