Creating a Culture of Innovation


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This presentation describes some "do's and don'ts" to create and sustain innovative teams. References to the design thinking approach to discovering breakthrough innovations, whether for new products or better business processes.

Anne Gold and I presented this at the 2014 Minnesota High Tech Association 2014 Spring meeting.

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  • Kids aren’t quick decision makers. “When you force them through a line quickly where they have to assemble these components on their tray, they sit down and they’re like, ‘These veggies, meh. I’m throwing that away,’”IDEO suggested students go to recess first to work up an appetite. soft lighting and ambient music, they’ll sit down a series of round tables and will be served their meal family-style, starting with the vegetable.There are no lines. Instead, carts of food come around to each table, serving the students different courses in a set sequence to encourage them to finish what’s on their plates. At such a young age, mealtime is a teachable moment, so every students gets a turn to be table captain, allows them to help serve the food and show responsibility.IDEO found that if you removed food from its packaging and put it in a bowl, students responded more positively to it. “We served exact same food the cafeteria served, and all of the students said, ‘This isn’t the same food,’” recalls Stafford.
  • Creating a Culture of Innovation

    1. Creating a Culture of Innovation IT‟S MORE THAN OPEN OFFICES AND FREE COFFEE
    2. Draw your face
    3. With your non- dominant hand! Draw your face
    4. 30 seconds: “What’s your company’s unsolvable problem?” Time’s Up
    5. Who We Are Anne Gold John Woodworth
    6. Definitions
    7. What is Innovation?
    8. Innovation
    9. What is Collaboration?
    10. Collaboration
    11. Web 2.0 Enterprise 2.0  Coined by Andrew McAfee (Harvard, 2006)  Social media infrastructure “for the inside”  Content from anyone  Rich media  Bound by culture and norms of the enterprise “Knowing what other people know”
    12. Innovation Essentials
    13. Passion
    14. Trust
    15. Autonomy
    16. Networks (The real network, not the org chart)
    17. Innovation Infrastructure
    18. Spare Parts (Be a little less tidy) Courtesy St. Paul Almanac
    19. Design Thinking  Rely on empathy and observation  Don‟t ask for features; look for problems.  Foster intuition  Refine your concepts via prototyping  Customers prototype with the engineers
    20. Example: How to get kids to eat school lunch? Courtesy WIRED
    21. San Francisco Unified School District had a problem  Only 40% of students eating school lunch  Expensive  Invited IDEO  Never asked the students what they want.  “Student Centered Design”  Rethink assembly line – went for dinner table  Students serving students  Veggies first  “System”  “experience * How to Reinvent the School Lunch and Get Kids to Eat Better
    22. “It‟s changed our vocabulary so now we‟re talking about the end user and R&D,” “We‟re thinking about tinkering as a means to better a outcome.”
    23. The Power of „And” Magnification
    24. Benjamin Franklin Was an… Author and?
    25. Benjamin Franklin Was a… Author and? Publisher
    26. Benjamin Franklin Was an… Author and? InventorPublisher
    27. Benjamin Franklin Was a… Author and? Inventor DiplomatPublisher
    28. A Polymath!
    29. „And” All ideas have merit They are an opportunity for hybridization… … and energy A good concept embraces many ideas Cherish them Courtesy Style Magazine
    30. How To Kill Innovation in Your Company
    31. The Power of „But” Elimination
    32. Benjamin Franklin Was an… Author yeah, but he was really a …
    33. Benjamin Franklin Was a… Publisher yeah, but he was really an …
    34. Benjamin Franklin Was an… Inventor yeah, but he was really a …
    35. Benjamin Franklin Was a… Diplomat
    36. Insisting on a single truth is a way to filter out uncertainty. And paths to insight
    37. Standardize Innovation  Use a lot of workflows  Create “idea databases” that require sharing approval  Ask about ROI early on  Make it part of a quality regime like Six Sigma
    38. Be Tidy – Eliminate Old Stuff  Get rid of mistakes. Or hide them.  Eliminate variation  “Clean-up Days”  “Managed email”  End-to-end ERP
    39. Ignore the Muggles
    40. Insist on Perfect Information  Call it „requirements‟  And then prioritize them  You‟ll never get a breakthrough  A form of CYA
    41. Your Innovation Advantage
    42. Treasure Hiding in Plain Sight  Customer complaints  Service metrics  Sourcing contracts  Big Data to pull it together  Sift through the mundane  Be an alchemist
    43. Established Companies Have YEARS of Knowledge  Competitive advantage over small, newer companies  Most knowledge is not digitized  “Physics of knowledge.” We assumed inert information is useless; it just needs to be rediscovered and stirred up Data > Facts > Knowledge > Wisdom
    44. You Have Amazing People  Clerks, executives, accountants, production workers ...  … all have eyes, brains and hands  They have untapped ideas. Imagine what would happen if they “collided?”
    45. Your Innovation Kit
    46.  Camera (look)  Count to Seven (listen)  Marker (offer control)  “And”  Get Out(side)  Coffee  Toy Box  Home Base
    47. And This Book!
    48. Questions?