Can I see your license?
What we need to do is give people a license to innovate. I got to thinking about this based on listening to Dr. Treacy (why do we think people are any good at innovating?) and talking with Joyce Wycoff (we ought to train people and provide them with tools to be more innovative). It also reminded me of a talk with my wife. She'd like to see a requirement to have a license to have a child, just like a license to drive or get married. At least that way we could ensure people had some preparation for parenthood.
Well, we don't really prepare people very well for innovation. Unlike say, Six Sigma or accounting or other business practices and functions, there isn't a lot of documented information on innovation as a sustainable business model. Oh, I know there are books by Christensen and Von Hippl and Kelly and others about innovation, but those are broad, sweeping tomes. What does a person do day to day to become more educated about innovation, its approaches and processes? How do we train people to become more innovative?
Seems to me that training should be in at least three dimensions: how does what you do align with corporate strategy, what processes do you follow for sustainable innovation and how do you work within the existing culture to change the culture and become more innovative. Once an individual has been through that kind of training, building small teams to deliver on innovation should be a no brainer.
There are Six Sigma Black Belts and MBAs and PhDs in our organizations with a lot of education and experience to define and lead specific functions. Where the MI (Master of Innovation) or the Black Belt of the Innovation Master?