Everyone wants to innovate more, and many people don’t know where to start. Which is weird, since we actually know quite a bit about how innovation works.
Here is a list of some of things that we know are true:
- Solutions come from empowered people. Delegate decision making as far towards the front line as you can to increase your innovation.
- You can’t legislate innovation. It doesn’t work to just say to people “go innovate” – your business model needs to support it.
- It’s not just about ideas. It’s the process of idea management.
- Innovation is the best way to bridge a gap between where you are and where you want to be.
- Getting the great idea to spread is just as important as having it and making it work.
- If every idea you try works you’re not trying enough new ideas.
- Make lots of little bets.
- People are way more important than tools.
- Innovations can be good or bad – make sure you’re creating real value.
- You need a deep understanding of the problem you’re trying to solve.
- Ask new questions. Make new mistakes. Learn.
- A problem in need of a solution is worth lots more than a solution looking for a problem.
- Anyone can innovate.
- Connecting ideas is the fundamental creative act in innovation.
- You need top-down commitment to create a culture of innovation.
- If you don’t have the support of your manager, you need to innovate by stealth – how much can you get away with?
- Efficiency is often the enemy of innovation – you need slack!
- Failing is good – try to fail as small as possible, and make sure you learn from it.
- Innovation needs to support strategy, but every once in a while it can create it.
- Innovation works best when you pursue a portfolio of innovative projects.
Innovation is not a black box. If you apply some of these ideas, you can make your organisation more effective at innovating.