The Ten Rules of Innovation for Big Organizations
Do you want your company to bring new products to the market that customers love? Look, it’s not a groundbreaking science. There is probably some mindset change and clean-up you can operate now, so your organization becomes more innovative.
Large organizations in particular have grown to become huge entities with unbelievable amount of organizational layers and business processes. This is not prone to let innovation shine. In the meantime, they are being quickly disrupted by more innovative companies
Yes, they can acquire Innovation by buying successful start-ups. But is this really the way companies can build delightful experiences for their customers? Probably not.
Here are ten rules of Innovation to help large organizations grow sustainably.
1 – Innovation is not only reserved to your “Innovation” teams
Everybody within your organization should have the possibility to innovate. You never know where your next big idea will come from. From your supply chain to your marketing or legal departments you should listen to and respect all creative ideas.
2 – Build a good mix of best talent in your company
Don’t only hire employees that are execution machines. They will not always be the ones that will bring the creativity you need to become really innovative. Look for other profiles as well that combine big thinking and a deep understanding of future customers’ needs.
3 – Free up your employees mindsets so they have time to be creative
Don’t over-burn your employees with too many meetings, daunting processes and tight deadlines for tasks that don’t bring value to the customers. Organize your teams so fire-drills become the exceptions and not the norm, and don’t lock your employees into too many operational daily tasks.
4 – Build a culture of trust where risk, trial and failure is celebrated
If people are afraid to take risks and fail, no chance they will try something new.
5 – Build a culture of fun
Fun spurs creativity. Bad stress and micro-management spurs closeness and individualism. What’s the latest innovative product that originated from a too serious company? Right….
6 – Iterate, iterate, iterate
No need to have 100% of your innovation right from the get go. Start with a broad idea instead, and iterate quickly so you integrate peoples’ feedback into the product early on.
7 – Empower your employees
Look, if your employees are not passionate about their job, they will not feel the need to put an extra effort to be innovative. Your success and destiny should become theirs, and their fates should become yours.
New ideas are first popping up in peoples’ mind, and not always during work hours. They can come up while they are sleeping or when they are jogging. If your employees are thinking about new exciting ideas for your company while showering, then you probably did something right.
8 – Beware of micro-management
Micro-management is harmful when it comes to innovation. You need to empower your employees instead, trust them and give them the right level of responsibility so they feel committed.
9 – Keep small teams
No need to have every stakeholder’s opinion on your innovation at the outset. The more people you involve the more consensual, diluted and uncreative your idea becomes. What you need is an A-team of 2 to 5 people max to get things started, and iterate. More inputs are welcomed later on in the process.
10 – Submit interesting problems to your colleagues
As Einstein famously said “The formulation of a problem is often more essential than its solution”. So take the time to think about the problems that your customers have and challenge your colleagues to come up with creative solutions. If you manage to clearly articulate the problem, the solution will be much easier to find.
I hope these rules will help you in your Innovation journey as you are re-shaping the future of your organization.