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While traditional market research has its place in the modern world, and while innovative tools have made probing deeper into the habits of your target demographic infinitely easier, there is simply nothing more valuable than hearing an honest opinion from a customer. Simply put, if you want to drive innovation, you need to talk to your customers. Here’s how to do it.
I propose a framework based on my two decades of experience participating with teams that have done things successfully and via learnings from my own stumbles. I suggest companies take not just one but three paths to innovation: the moonshot, the pivot, the incremental.
When we bought a new mattress for our son we asked the company that delivered the new one what would happen to the old mattress. Goes into the landfill, they said. And I thought, what a terrible outcome. So much of the mattress could be reused - the cotton batting, the inner springs, some of the foam siding. But the cost of deconstructing a mattress, which wasn't designed to be easily taken apart, makes it difficult to get a lot of reuse from the components.
I was exposed to building things with ones hands from a very young age. I got to see and experience the innovation process up close and personal: spotting opportunities, defining the problem, brainstorming, prototyping and testing.
Take, for instance, an AI system designed to defend against human or AI hackers. To prevent the system from doing anything harmful or unethical, it may be necessary to challenge it to explain the logic for a particular action. That logic might be too complex for a person to comprehend, so the researchers suggest having another AI debate the wisdom of the action with the first system, using natural language, while the person observes.
What happens when an organization is experiencing a time of crisis? What role do innovation leaders play and how can their programs drive value in a period where an organization is in distress? A time of crisis can be an existential threat to your efforts, or a real opportunity to create value and define solutions to help the organization effectively navigate the rough terrain. Here are some actions that innovation leaders can take to drive value.
Professor Andrew Jarosz served vodka-cranberry cocktails to 20 male subjects until their blood alcohol levels neared legal intoxication and then gave each a series of word association problems to solve. Not only did those who imbibed give more correct answers than a sober control group performing the same task, but they also arrived at solutions more quickly. The conclusion: drunk people are better at creative problem solving.
Endless talks about establishing a “culture of innovation” is a distraction, rather than an enabler, in fostering corporate innovation. Instead of chasing chimeras, organizations should start implementing concrete corporate policies helping innovation take root.
Unlike managers, creative people do not think in a systematic way. They favor a chaotic approach - so there's always going to be an element of chaos when working in a creative team. A creative idea is not the endpoint of an ordered process and it will not necessarily be thought through to the bitter end. There's actually something really beautiful about this and it needs to be nurtured, because it's absolutely critical for innovation to succeed.
If you’re not looking for the best, you’re looking for good enough; you’re playing not to lose. This is a recipe for disaster. Remember: The people on your team reflect the future of your organization. So if the people on your team don’t have a growth mindset; neither will your organization.
Companies don’t get credit for long-term investments in R&D. This is both because the resulting knowledge might walk out the door, as employees join other firms or start their own, and because you can acquire firms who have the needed technology. If everyone followed that logic, however, there’d be little innovation to walk out the door or to acquire! Fortunately, neither of these concerns is warranted, and my research shows why companies, investors, and the nation will be better off if companies make long-term investments in R&D.
Innovation is about embracing the risk of failure and setting yourself up to iterate, test, validate and execute quickly. Disrupting an industry requires learning, acknowledging and respecting the things that led the industry to where it is today. Only once you understand the inefficiencies in an industry can you know where and how to innovate.
The people we saw driving impactful, world-changing initiatives just didn’t look like old-school leadership material — and didn’t seem to want to. Cautiously, we called it problem-led leadership, and launched into all the interviewing, case studying, and literature review that goes into a leadership research project.
In so many ways it often feels like innovation is both wholly new, and ancient at the same time. Tools that we use to innovate aren't new, in fact many are very old, but put to appropriate use they help us create miraculous new things. Too often we distrust old tools or methods, thinking that newer tools or methods are more current, more viable, but fail to realize that some things are simply grounded in truth, no matter hold old they are.
Innovation isn’t a one-time project. It’s a continuous activity. Which is why we are seeing numerous organizations adding an innovation department to their company infrastructure. In fact, in a recent survey of our client base, we were surprised to learn that almost 40% of our customers operate out of a dedicated innovation group.
Diversity enables problem-solving because people bring different heuristics, or simple rules, and perspectives shaped by their unique life experiences. When two engineers from two different environments team up to solve a problem about how to design space meals optimal for weight and reuse, the resulting output will be much richer than if the two engineers had both grown up in Titusville, Florida.
The truth is that the next big thing always starts out looking like nothing at all. Things that truly change the world always arrive out of context for the simple reason that the world hasn’t changed yet. They need to build up ecosystems around them and identify meaningful problems to solve. That takes time.
Managing innovation is a big role that puts a lot of weight on the shoulders of management teams. Depending on how much a company cultivates an innovative culture and environment, innovative ideas either go through chains of command, or are workshopped in specific departments.
By aggregating and analyzing massive amounts of known data, we can drastically narrow down possibilities and save enormous amounts of time and money — possibly a 10x improvement or better. That opens up massive opportunities to do research that would otherwise be cost prohibitive.
To ask a good question requires two things: an insight and gumption. The root of all worthy questions is a desire to fill in a gap in your understanding of something. The insight in good questions comes from seeing that gap, exploring its edges and forming a question from them that can serve as an invitation to others to fill it.
Innovation is not a buzzword -- it is an essential ingredient in an organization’s ability to compete in today’s digital age. By being open to ideas from anyone, anywhere inside or outside your company, you can disrupt markets, create new business opportunities and solve customers’ most pressing challenges.
Creativity and societal problems have not always been closely associated. In the national dialogue, fixing these problems involves a series of concrete steps—steps designed to create concrete processes and repeatable outcomes. As we learn more about why these problems occur, however, we’re also learning more about how to treat them, which can involve a healthy dose of creativity and innovation.
Having the right people on your start-up’s team – especially in its early days – can mean the difference between unparalleled success and embarrassing failure. The best founders and leaders know that success does not come from one person acting alone, but a team of professionals and industry experts who work together to create something truly amazing.
Is there a manageable, predictable process for product innovation? Many people would say no, but Josh Valman contends that there is. And he has credentials in that area as CEO of RPD International, who work on product innovation with the likes of Unilever, Bosch and GSK.
In the past 12 months, there has been a concerted push to foster a more experimental and autonomous workforce within mature, corporate organizations. This is impacting how innovation professionals operate, drive value, and ultimately succeed in their own careers.
In this article, you are going to learn exactly what Loss Aversion is, why is creates crippling fear in middle managers and decision-makers, and a simple model for how you can reframe your company’s thinking which encourages more innovation projects to thrive.
The key to solving fundamental challenges is to go both wider and deeper. We need to understand problems on a fundamental level and then in search of new perspectives, both from experts in other fields and seeking out new experiences ourselves. Innovation is never about individual nodes. It’s always about networks.
For most of history people did not use the word creativity very much. They just invented and discovered things in the course of their lives without applying special labels to them. But something strange happened to in modern times. We developed a romance around the notion of creativity. Most people today think of it as an extra layer of cognitive powers, that only special people have. This is untrue and there’s an easy way to prove it.
Brainstorming for questions, not answers, wasn’t something I’d tried before. It just occurred to me in that moment, probably because I had recently been reading sociologist Parker Palmer’s early work about creative discovery through open, honest inquiry. But this technique worked so well with the students that I began experimenting with it in consulting engagements, and eventually it evolved into a methodology that I continue to refine.
Today, the pace of change is accelerating and it is faster than ever. Perhaps not in how we humans evolve - but definitely in terms of how businesses and technologies evolve. In the not so distant past, businesses prided themselves and their products on being "build to last". Today, we need to think more about "built to change", more agile, more nimble and more creative than in the past.
Getting our teams to generate a lot of great ideas is just the beginning. Successful innovation is the combination of great ideas with sustainably profitable business models. In my experience corporations have a much bigger problem - what to do with good ideas once we have them.
In most organizations, there is an omnipresent quest for more. With crowdsourcing innovation programs, the first impulse is to seek more ideas. Is more really better? What about idea quality? Does 'more ideas' work against idea quality? The goal needs to be quality.
So how can companies maintain their existence in this perpetual state of 'day 1-ness'? We spoke to four of our speakers, past and present, about how they keep up a startup atmosphere that's ripe for innovation.
The issue many companies face today with innovation is their tendency to overcommit to a single quadrant by either being too optimistic and wanting all innovation to be revolutionary or being too cautious and staying in their comfort zones. Both typically lead to failure and a perception that the company must get back to the core business and shed its innovation efforts. The key to a successful innovation strategy is to diversify investments across all four quadrants of the innovation matrix.
It seems like everybody these days is looking for an early version of Steve Jobs. Yet I found that most great innovators were nothing like the mercurial stereotype. In fact, almost all of them were kind, generous, and interested in what I was doing. Many were soft-spoken and modest. You would notice very few of them in a crowded room.
Artificial intelligence systems that can sense, think, learn, and act on their own could allow a major upgrade in conservation efforts, in dealing with climate change, and living in a more energy-efficient manner. A report released during the recent Davos World Economic Forum meeting laid more than 80 potential environmental applications for AI, ranging from the mundane to the futuristic.
Innovation is the combination of creative new ideas with sustainably profitable business model. Regardless of the idea you are working on or how cool and amazing it is, eventually you have to solve for this equation; are you able to deliver value to customers in a way that is sustainably profitable?
If a truly valued innovator is preparing to pack their bags, you could take a cue from the Adobe Systems Kick-box. Give the employees you believe in the kick-box of all kick-boxes: let them have free reign on a $100,000 budget and the expertise of leaders in the company. Tell them to come back in 6 months’ time with the solution they’re dying to pursue. You might be pleasantly surprised.
The trouble is that the source of innovation is shifting – from human ingenuity to data-driven machine-learning. Of course, it takes plenty of talented, creative people to build these products. But their improvement is driven less by a human “aha-moment” than by data and improvements in how machines learn from it.
In the context of business management and economics, innovation has mainly been considered as a source of profit and growth. But innovation can also have a transformative role and recently more and more innovators and entrepreneurs are not only considering the financial returns of their projects, but also the societal impacts that they might bring with them.
If you are willing to consider that some people are more innovative than others, and that innovation talent can now be measured, you can make massive advances in your innovation program. We invite you to discover three levers to increasing your innovation success, talent selection, talent organization and talent development. For perspective on this problem, we asked Steve Haraguchi, who has directed innovation programs at both Stanford and MIT.
Nothing new. Your company has few if any new products. Yet competition is on a creative binge. This is the path to terminal stagnation. You can wait until someone in the organization comes up with the next winning idea. Dangerous. Or, you can build an intensely innovative culture. In other words, innovate innovation. How?
A small group of fewer than 30 universities are having a bigger impact on the inventions driving global economic growth than the world’s major industrialised nations, a data analysis by Times Higher Education suggests.
In the last decade, there has been an explosion in the number of research deals between companies and universities. Companies, which have been reducing their spending on early-stage research (basic and applied or translational) for three decades, have been increasingly turning to universities to perform that role, seeking access to the best scientific and engineering minds in specific domains.
Everyone seems to agree that innovation is a risky business: it involves a lot of experimentation, which often ends up in failure. High tolerance for failure therefore can be considered as a major prerequisite for any successful innovation program.
Currently, 80 percent of executives think that AI solutions can improve their productivity. Given these data, how can businesses exploit their potential today? Here are seven business benefits that these technologies can currently bring to business.
These days, it’s not easy to get a job without a college degree—unless, of course, you create one for yourself, something entrepreneurs have been doing throughout human history. Starting your own business is the best way to prioritize your ideas and bring them to life.
Open innovation will play a key role in the developed economies over the next decade. There will be new technological trends that will fuel innovation, from blockchain to digitalization to genomic editing. Innovation itself will continue to evolve, and so policy must also be prepared to adjust.
In the coming years we are likely to see a new era of innovation that will look more like the 1950s and 1960s than it will the 1990s or 2000s. In the next few decades, I predict, much of innovation’s value will shift away from applications and back to fundamental problems. That will require greater focus on sustaining efforts to solve grand challenges.
Innovative organizations understand that innovation has many enemies, some seen and others unseen, and its leaders are actively involved in keeping them at bay. What enemies?
As they grow and mature, established organizations develop many obstacles that impede innovation. The biggest obstacle to transformation is human nature; this is why innovation is as much about attitude and perspective as it is about process.
FantasySCOTUS is an online fantasy league in which contestants compete by predicting decisions made by the U.S. Supreme Court. Players are ranked as in any fantasy league, and the best performers can win prizes such as a “Golden Gavel” and even $10,000 in cash.
Our research suggests the reasons more ideas from open innovation aren’t being adopted are political and cultural, not technical. Multiple gatekeepers, skepticism regarding anything “not invented here,” and turf wars all hold back adoption. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
We talk about artificial intelligence (AI), robots, and machine learning as if they’re coming soon, or are just some tech pipe dream. They’re not. They’re here today. In fact, a special report from Bank of America, Merrill Lynch predicts the global market for AI and robots will be just under $153 billion by 2020, and some industries will experience up to a 30% productivity increase through the use of those technologies alone.
Plants are incredible organisms. They tend to be very simple, only requiring a little CO2, water, and oxygen in order to live, but they’re capable of tremendous diversity and adaptability. Dr. Joanne Chory is using that information to create new plant varieties that could pull incredible amounts of CO2 out of the atmosphere and dramatically reduce the effects of climate change.
The objective of this short article is not to explain the breadth and the depth of the domain of innovation. Instead, this is an attempt to simplify innovation and encourage you to better understand and practice it. Is your organization innovative? How many new products and processes you introduced in the past one year? How do you compare the numbers with other players in the industry and also with the globally best? This write up will enable you to understand and practice innovation by answering the following questions. When to innovate? Where to innovate? How to innovate?
If you want big ideas, you need to encourage them, yes, but also talk about them in ways that open up dialog, thinking and idea generation to a much larger dimension. While language, word choice and conversation may not seem to have all that much impact on idea generation and innovation, in reality these are the building blocks of a corporate culture. As a colleague of mine is fond of saying: we need to switch from "I'll believe it when I see it" to "I'll see it when I believe it".
There are three things that astound me about most organizations: The cro-magnon way performance reviews are done; the pitiful way brainstorm sessions are run and; the voo doo way decisions are made. What follows is an elaboration of the third -- 12 common phenomena that contribute to funky decision making.
I've been thinking, long and hard, about the correct analogy to describe a lot of corporate innovation efforts. I'm sorry to say that the best analogy I can come up with is a campfire. Let's map what's going on in corporate settings to the ingredients for a campfire, to understand what's underway, what's working and what's missing in corporate innovation.
Increasingly we are looking constantly for better value. We are increasingly restless and explorative. The big question for many companies that simply sell products is can they benefit from making changes in these platform models. How do they go about it to capitalize on this restlessness and constant need of new experiences? Is the stand-alone product model breaking down? Do the more traditional approaches to customers, those that are more supply sided, still serve their needs today? The answer is no, platforms are building very different connected experience for customers, they are voting with their digital clicks to move their business to these offerings. Are you building platform businesses? You should.
You’re sitting at home minding your own business when you get a call from your credit card’s fraud detection unit asking if you’ve just made a purchase at a department store in your city. It wasn’t you who bought expensive electronics using your credit card — in fact, it’s been in your pocket all afternoon. So how did the bank know to flag this single purchase as most likely fraudulent?
Often, it appears, companies are seeing the need to showcase how innovative they are. And the solution seems to be to build a flashy new work environment, install bean bags, foosball tables, whiteboards, and cold-brew some coffee and voila, we’ve got ourselves a lab. I’m a bit of a skeptic about these labs.
Young people are no longer satisfied with the prospect of becoming anonymous cogs in a larger corporate machine. Disruptive new technologies have already led to profound cultural shifts in attitudes towards consumption, work, education, energy and health. Technology helps make the world more transparent, authentic and open.
The lack of understanding that the most crucial factor that defines the ultimate success or failure of any crowdsourcing campaign is the ability to properly identify, define and articulate the problem that the crowd will be asked to solve. I call it the “80:20 rule”: 80% of unsuccessful crowdsourcing campaigns I’m aware of failed because of the inability to properly formulate the question to be presented to the crowd; only 20% did so because of a poor match between the question and the crowd.
Language and common definitions are critical to any interaction. When each party has their own definitions of innovation and rather narrow definitions at that, little can be accomplished and many opportunities are left by the wayside. Stopping to create a shared definition, expanding the range of opportunities and options, means we can explore more together.
Curiosity and empathy are the foundation for innovation. You have to get curious about what’s happening, and about people. This means that to innovate you have to ask more interesting questions, observe and learn more. You have to develop a big appetite for knowledge because you want to expand your perspective by having many mental models to use when taking on challenges.
What, then, would constitute a “theory of innovation”? What value, then, could a theory of “innovation” offer in this setting where creativity is an essential element? We must begin with some definitions, which will also provide the foundation for our theory.
We are in urgent need to build a clear innovation architecture as we do need this new business innovation capability. We are entering a different innovation era and if we don’t pay specific attention to the architecture of innovation we will not have a bright future, we will increasingly fall behind those that do get the need for serious investment in building innovation capability and capacity.
The most common goal, from a corporate point of view, is to reduce the cost of human labor and thus increase the profits of the business. But that shouldn’t be the only perspective. I’ve yet to encounter business leaders who think about automation from the perspective of the person who should benefit the most from it: the customer.
You don't have to drain your savings account or quit your day job to get a concept off the ground. You don't need co-founders, investors, or even to write a business plan. From the advent of rapid prototyping and crowdfunding to the widespread affordability of digital tools and technologies, the opportunities available to creative people today are fundamentally different -- and enormously exciting.
Why would a company ever outsource anything? In part, it may be because teams of talented operators have already demonstrated excellence in a specialized task or function, and it’s easier or cheaper to tap those teams than to create new teams of your own.
Collaboration is way of working with others with shared understanding to achieve mutual goals. Sometimes collaboration goes outside of our comfort zone to accomplish goals. It is critical to understand it to be more effective at it.
Even if you aren't interested in innovation, but merely want to remain competitive and keep pace with your industry and your competitors, understanding trends and predicting the potential direction of your industry and customer base is vital. It's the minimum to simply keep up with your market. Good innovators will be looking for clues to find the big shifts that they can take advantage of.
The political rhetoric of economic nationalism has grown heated in recent years. The clarion call often sounds for more restrictive trade or immigration policies that supporters believe will promote growth and employment at home. Studies have shown that a number of countries have embraced this mind-set to varying degrees, adopting policies that favor domestic industry and companies.
Internally, company executives have coined a phrase that gets to the heart of these goals: “Break the glass.” That means not just relying on internal thinking and ideas, but going out to “actually sit next to customers, go to their homes,” Harris says. “Not just consumers, but bartenders and other stakeholders in the industry.”
Innovation is geographically uneven. The world's 40 richest mega-regions — expansive conurbations such as the Boston–New York–Washington DC corridor, Greater London, or the passage that runs from Shanghai to Beijing — account for more than 85% of the world's patents, and 83% of the most-cited scientists. And yet, only 18% of the world's population lives in them.
Energy experts believe that blockchain technology can solve a maze of red tape and data management problems. In the longer term, Jesse Morris envisions a world in which homes and buildings are equipped with software that automatically sells and buys power to and from the grid on the basis of real-time price signals.
The real success of true AI will be in connecting disparate High Performance Computing systems and frameworks together. Figuring out how to connect them altogether is incredibly complex and presents as a true challenge, but when this issue is solved, we’ll surely be entering the golden age of research computing.
A recent McKinsey report found that while 84% of corporate executives think innovation is key to achieving growth objectives, only 6% are satisfied with the innovation performance of their firm. That’s quite a mismatch. It’s hard to imagine that a success rate that low would be tolerated in any other business function.
Sales and marketing were once disciplines ruled by emotions. But somewhere along the way, we recognized that they were based on definable pipelines and applied technology to manage those pipelines. Today you can put a corporate dashboard in place to manage them and tweak the settings to try to boost your results. What if we applied the same thinking to innovation?
An audacious Chinese entrepreneur wants to test your body for everything. But are computers really smart enough to make sense of all that data?
Fresh combinations of technologies, processes, materials, people, trends, concepts, and other factors are what creates innovation. It’s interesting that large organizations with lots of intellectual property don’t systematically examine what they can combine to innovate. It’s a big missing, and, an opportunity to improve.
Innovation is not a solo activity. While the rare lone genius may be able to invent something on their own (although still always inspired by others), nobody can innovate by themselves. Innovation, by its very nature, requires collaboration.
I think we often over complicate the work of innovation, because we believe it cannot be simple and straightforward. After all, how can an activity that can disrupt an industry, create compelling new products or services and reap significant riches be simple? To drive all of this change, certainly innovation must be difficult and complex, right?
Culturally diverse views bring valuable insights to local problems and issues that are pertinent to solving international challenges. In today’s constantly changing business environment, we need to pay more attention to local voices in order to orchestrate innovation around the world. Listening and learning from culturally diverse perspectives nurtures an open and creative mind.
While we - human beings - like to think of ourselves as rational creatures, the truth is we are anything but. We are prone to over 100 cognitive biases that may subconsciously shape our perceptions, beliefs and decisions. As one might imagination, innovation and entrepreneurship is not immune from said biases.
In a survey by McKinsey, 94% of senior executives said that it’s the people and corporate culture that drive innovation. Hierarchical structures where the decision-maker is difficult to reach and the decision-making process is not transparent do not foster innovation. That’s why employees need a degree of autonomy to execute actions and set their innovation goals.
There is this need to have a new cycle of innovative design. We need a really radical way forward on innovation, a highly adaptive solution, where all these solution parts are available on demand, constantly adjusting and adaptable to the situation you have to resolve. We build a process that relates to the problem on hand in its structure, offering the suggested process needed in frames, tools, process designs.
Business innovation has to do with new value, not necessarily new things — and comes in many flavors. The authors presented an “innovation radar” so companies can consider 12 different areas in which they might innovate — ranging from method of value capture to operating processes to platforms. “When a company identifies and pursues neglected innovation dimensions, it can change the basis of competition and leave other firms at a distinct disadvantage,” the authors concluded.
Artifical Intelligence (AI) is now being used to transform businesses, meaning companies are better positioned to provide consumers with the experience that they both demand and expect. But despite the respite the rise of the machine presents staff, conversations regarding automation are often littered with fear over the potential loss of jobs. This shouldn‘t be the case, instead, businesses and staff need to recognise the introduction of AI as the start of a new era where staff can ‘work smart‘ and become increasingly effective.
AI has the potential to provide many benefits to our economy and society. However, startups and established firms that are just beginning to use AI need access to data in order to train their AI systems. Difficulty in accessing the necessary data can create a barrier to entry, potentially reducing competition and innovation.
BabyX, the virtual creation of Mark Sagar and his researchers, looks impossibly real. If it sounds odd to encounter a virtual child that can read words from a book, it’s much more disorienting to feel a sense of fatherly pride after she nails a bunch in a row and lights up with what appears to be authentic joy. BabyX and I seemed to be having a moment, learning from each other while trading expressions and subtle cues so familiar to the human experience.
Collaboration is a hot buzzword in the business world. And with good reason. Working with people who have different perspectives or areas of expertise can result in better ideas and outcomes.
We need to recognize that innovation is one of the hardest things to align to strategy. It’s inherently messy, fairly unpredictable and its team-orientated approach sometimes cuts across borders, challenges different established positions and seemingly conflicting priorities.
Innovation happens at work when a few things are true, two of them are organizational support and rewarding bravery; both critical for a culture of innovation. As a leader or manager you have to remember that people don’t leave their jobs, they leave their managers.The reason is simple: It’s critical for people to feel like they’re making progress. Enthusiasm is oxygen, and people’s spirit dies if you kill it.
AI will eliminate some forms of this digital labour—software, for instance, has got better at transcribing audio. Yet AI will also create demand for other types of digital work. The technology may use a lot of computing power and fancy mathematics, but it also relies on data distilled by humans.
But what if everyone in your company had to account for their time, and what if everyone had a specific time allocation for innovation? That might differ depending on the individual, their experience and interest in innovation of course, but what if at the end of each year you could look across your team and see how much time an individual spent building innovation skills and contributing to innovation projects. Wouldn't that be valuable as a manager?
We discovered that experts with a broad external network were more innovative only when they devoted enough time and attention to those sources. For instance, people who interacted with eight different types of partners were only more innovative if they allocated half of their time outside the organization. Those who spent more time cultivating external relationships reported higher innovation outcomes, in terms of either patent quantity or quality. When people created a broad external network but did not spend adequate time learning how to use the information gained, the costs of being more distant from the organization and engaging in external networking outweighed the benefits of identifying novel information.
An established organization maintains stability because they’re specialized on optimizing their existing business model to deliver more of what already works. While this is great and keeps the wheels turning it’s also why they’re set up to fail because their experience and success is a straight jacket that’s hard to shake out off; put simply: Your internal culture is the biggest enemy to innovation.
A senior team member kicks things off with a fairly interesting idea, but comfortably within the ballpark of what your company does. People begin jumping in, pinging off of that idea, proposing innovations not too different from those your company has already tried. Then it happens: Someone utters a truly original, off-the-wall idea. The room suddenly gets quiet. Everyone waits to see how the boss will react.
The business case for diversity is clear. Diversity can boost innovation and employee engagement, and companies with greater gender and racial diversity financially outperform their peers. Yet progress within organizations has been slow – there is still a lack of women and minorities in leadership positions, and certain industries like tech and finance are lacking diversity at all levels.