Friday, December 11, 2009

Conditions that can create an innovation culture

I've been thinking a lot lately about "creating a culture of innovation", which is what a lot of firms suggest they want to do.  Of course this is a very lofty goal.  Changing a corporate culture doesn't happen easily, and it certainly doesn't happen overnight.  Yet clearly one of the most significant barriers to innovation is the entrenched culture of effectiveness and efficiency, of risk-avoidance and following rather than leading.

So, that led me to think about when teams and groups within an organization can be innovative, and what the conditions were when that happened.  We regularly lead teams on trend spotting and scenario planning exercises that create some really radical future scenarios, with little resistance, and often lead ideation and brainstorming programs that achieve a large number of disruptive or radical ideas.  These small programs demonstrate that innovation can happen in any organization under certain conditions.  Let's first look at what makes these small programs effective.

We find that we can be most effective with these discovery and idea generation programs when we set very clear expectations about our goals and prepare the team carefully for the work, setting out specific rules and expectations.  Typically when we go into the work, we'll close the door and tell the team that anything that happens in the room is fair game, and open for discussion, and we aren't bound by the "normal" rules.  This helps get the team out of the "day to day" thinking and encourage their creative thinking.  They know that no one will be allowed to ridicule an idea or submit challenges that will block the consideration of an idea.  For those few moments or days, we have created a "micro-climate" for innovation, probably akin to a hothouse in the wintertime.

So, if we can create some assorted micro-climates where teams can spot opportunities and emerging trends, and effectively generate ideas, can we build on the "micro-climate" concept to create more areas where conditions are ripe for innovation?  Using the flower analogy, can we move the ideas from one hothouse to another, gradually exposing the ideas to the elements and improving the chances for survival, while we try to change the conditions of the organization at large (change the cultural attitudes to innovation)?

I'd like to suggest the first step may be to create a number of "micro-climates" - safe locations to generate, develop and evaluate ideas that exist specifically to give ideas the necessary environments to grow.  Some firms use a designated space for innovation.  Perhaps the best way to change the culture is to start small, with several micro-climates that establish conditions for innovation and allow the process to prove its worth.

Eventually the idea needs to be exposed to the conditions, and planted where it will bear fruit. That is, it must make a transition from an interesting idea to a new product or service, and that means it must work its way through the product or service development process.  There are two considerations here:  either the existing product or service development process must be adjusted to accept and manage new, possibly more disruptive and fragile concepts, or new product and service development models must be developed for more radical ideas.  To carry the plant analogy further, any farmer worth his salt will cover plants in the field that are susceptible to a killing frost or unexpected conditions.  So, too, must an organization provide more cover and care for a radical idea as it moves through a traditional product development process.

The point here is that too many times we talk about "changing the culture" and immediately reject the concept, since it is such a Herculean task.  Perhaps what we should do is establish small teams and locations where the conditions are beneficial to innovation - small micro-climates where ideas can succeed, and string them together.  Once we've demonstrated success, we won't have to worry about changing the culture, because slowly the organization will recognize success and begin to adapt to the best concepts that the conditions in the micro-climates offer them.
AddThis Social Bookmark Button
posted by Jeffrey Phillips at 5:51 AM

29 Comments:

Blogger rs79 said...

This resonates with Paul Romer's idea on charter cities: http://www.ted.com/talks/paul_romer.html

11:42 AM  
Anonymous Victor Velasquez said...

Hi Jeffrey I read your blogposts pretty often and this one in particular made me think about one that we published in our blog. I want to share it with you and to your readers because I think it is relevant: http://www.nearsoft.com/blog/how-to-make-innovation-part-of-your-company-dna.html

I liked the idea of the "micro-climates". It is a good analogy.

10:10 AM  
Anonymous Carlos Navarro said...

Excellent. I think you nailed it when you stated the need to "create some assorted micro-climates where teams can spot opportunities and emerging trends..." By doing this, perhaps you can overcome internal, cultural obstacles to innovation -- such as silos and the ever-prevalent "not how we do it here" syndrome.

8:59 AM  
Anonymous Online Viagra said...

A great informative blog.Keep posting articles like.Your have a great knowledge of the subject.Thanks for sharing such an article where education of people matters the most.You way of expressing articles through words is excellent.he way of expressing things is best and informative.Keep sharing articles like this.A great article with best possible effects.I am great fan of your blog.Every time i come here i see something very new.Thanks for sharing the information.

Kamagra | Edegra

2:01 AM  
Anonymous teeshirt personnalisé said...

I think it's difficult to create a culture of innovation. Thx for the article.

tshirt vert
tshirt star wars

6:20 AM  
Anonymous Buy Viagra Online said...

Nice and interesting one.

5:03 AM  
Anonymous Penis Enlargement Pills said...

http://www.bestpenisproducts.com is an all-natural Penis Enlargement, safe, and guaranteed alternative to painful and dangerous Penis enlargement methods such as surgery, straps, or rings.
penis enlargement pills or male enhancement pills will immediately boost your performance, improve your orgasms, and increase the penis size within just a few weeks!
VISIT OUR BEST PENIS ENLARGEMENT PILLS PRODUCTS:

VIGRX PLUS PILLS
VIMAX PILLS
MALE EXTRA PILLS
MALE ENHANCEMENT PILLS

1:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is up with all of this enlargement product stuff?

Coca Cola Personal Checks

8:55 AM  
Anonymous free directory submition said...

For men who want bigger, harder, longer-lasting erections, there's now VigRX Plus™, a fresh twist on the already popular VigRX™, but designed to further enhance men's sexual functioning with the addition of three exciting new ingredients: Damiana, Tribulus, and Bioperin. Doctor endorsed and rated #1 for results by clients of penis enlargement consumers. rated two penis pills is vimax. if you find about male enhancement this products is the best and proven to work, there products have money-back guarantee in effectiveness and result.

10:48 AM  
Anonymous viagra generic online said...

Hello dear,
really your blog found me very interesting and informative. Awesome blog post here.... keep posting such an interesting articles.

Thanks!

3:30 AM  
Anonymous Golf Videos said...

Determination, passion and belief in an idea can overcome the stiffest resource constraints to get to the point where potential is demonstrated.

5:25 AM  
Anonymous careprost said...

thank you very much for sharing this knowledge.this graph really conveyed the part which i was looking for.

10:39 PM  
Anonymous buy viagra generic said...

Hello Dear,
Really your blog is very interesting.... it contains great and unique information. I enjoyed to visiting your blog. It's just amazing....

3:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

miami beach fl locksmith
locksmith miami beach fl
Locksmith Memphis
Locksmith Washington
Washington DC Locksmith
Washington DC Locksmith
Locksmith Memphis
Locksmith Washington
Locksmith Hampton VA
Locksmith Hampton VA
Locksmith Corona CA
Locksmith Corona
Hampton Locksmith
Locksmith Hampton VA
Kendall Locksmith
Hialeah Locksmith
Westfield Locksmith
Locksmith Westfield NJ
Westfield Locksmith
Westfield Locksmith
Westfield Locksmith
Westfield Locksmith
Westfield Locksmith
Westfield Locksmith
Locksmith Westfield NJ

12:02 AM  
Blogger kimnellen2587 said...

I’ve seen progression in every post. Your newer posts are simply wonderful compared to your posts in the past. Keep up the good workAfrican Mango Extract

7:12 AM  
Anonymous Buy Mysoline Online said...

Això és realment interessant, ets un blogger molt hàbil. M'he unit a la seva alimentació i esperem que busquen més del seu missatge meravellós. A més, he compartit el seu lloc en els meus xarxes socials

12:34 AM  
Anonymous Kamagra said...

I need this article to complete my assignment in the college, and it has same topic with your article. Thanks, great share.

6:44 AM  
Blogger netde said...

Graciasクレジットカード現金化

5:47 PM  
Blogger netde said...

I'm sorryクレジットカード現金化

5:48 PM  
Blogger netde said...

Mi dispiaceクレジットカード現金化

5:48 PM  
Anonymous amoxicillin amoxil said...

Please one more post about that.I wonder how you got so good. This is really a fascinating blog, lots of stuff that I can get into. One thing I just want to say is that your Blog is so perfect

7:20 AM  
Blogger Sinan said...

Thanks so much for this! This is exactly what I was looking for bedava chat - islami chat - islami sohbet - sohbet siteleri - dini sohbet - mynet sohbet - sohbet odaları - garanti arkadas - sohbet kanallari - mirc sohbet - chat siteleri - mirc script indir - sohbet odaları - cinsel muhabbet - cinsel sohbet - Sex chat - seviyeli sohbet - kameralı sohbet - sohbet et - cinsel sohbet - sex sohbet - mirc - mirc indir - kameralı mirc - turkce mirc - sohbet siteleri - cet - chat kanali - chat kanalları - sohbet kanali - sohbet kanalları - Video izle - izmir sohbet - kaliteli sohbet - seviyeli chat - sesli sohbet

6:16 AM  
Anonymous buy xanax no prescription said...

Really you have done great job,There are may person searching about that now they will find enough resources by your post.I like this blog.

7:30 AM  
Anonymous Order Generic Viagra said...

Hello...,
Such a great article here found. I like your way to express thoughts and your presentation. Thank you for posting. Keep it up.....

7:07 AM  
Anonymous Facebook Apps said...

I have been looking to start my very own blog since a long time, in a way your blog inspires me a lot. Would you let me know just how did you get started out with installing a blog site?


Facebook Developers Facebook Developer Facebook Applications Facebook Application Facebook App Facebook Apps

1:02 AM  
Blogger better ck said...

Thanks a lot for this time sharing of innovation about CONDITIONS THAT CAN CREATE AN INNOVATION CULTURE. This is really the best website about innovation i have ever read.
stop pre ejaculation

8:46 AM  
Blogger felicity said...

Fascinating article- I must say. I'm glad to have found this blog because I recently entertained the idea that hardly anything is original anymore. thanks very much for the share..
home treatments for hemorrhoids

7:20 PM  
Blogger Jovan Valdeze said...

What an amazing job you people are doing. Hope to see latest information.

4:44 AM  
Blogger jamesfrac said...

Very interesting discussion glad that I came across such informative post. Keep up the good work friend. Glad to be part of your net community.
Buy sildenafil online

4:27 AM  
Blogger philip said...

Its really a good one.

forzest Online

9:12 PM  
Blogger Best Penis Enlargement Pills said...

This is one of the best post I've ever seen, you can include some more ideas in the same theme. I'm still waiting for some interesting thoughts from your side in the next post. One thing I just want to say is that your blog is so perfect!
@ Vimax,Vimax, Vimax Pills, Buy Vimax Pills, VigRX, VigRX Plus, Buy VigRX Plus, VigRX Plus Online, VigRX Plus Canada,Penis Enlargement, Penis Enlargement Pills

9:03 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home