Too many people want to make their organisations more innovative without going through the pain of actually changing anything.
This does not work.
In an interview on Tim Ferriss’ podcast, Jocko Willink says:
If you want to tougher mentally, it is simple: be tougher. Don’t meditate on it.
It’s the same with innovation. If you want to be innovative, it is simple: innovate.
Here are some things that don’t work:
- Buying the magic innovation software.
- Bringing someone (like me) in to give an “inspirational talk” on innovation (which is why I don’t do these anymore). A one-day workshop doesn’t work either.
- Buying a smaller, innovative company to kick-start internal innovation.
- Building a corporate accelerator that brings in startups to do innovative stuff that’s related to your core business.
- Outsourcing new product development, customer development, or any of the work that connects what you want to sell to the problem that people need solved.
Ultimately, all of these end up being innovation theatre.
Here is one thing that does work:
- Try out lots of new ideas to see which ones create value, then scale those.
The problem is that to do this, you have to change the way you act. Which, of course, you must, if you want to be innovative.
There’s no shortcut. That’s why so few organisations are genuinely innovative. To be innovative, you have to innovate.