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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.

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. Draw your face With your non- dominant hand!
  4. Who Are We? John WoodworthAnne Gold
  5. Definitions
  6. What’s the Difference? Invention Innovation
  7. Innovation is profitable. It drives growth. Innovation improves platforms. Innovation requires us to ‘think different.’
  8. Collaboration
  9. Cooperation is driven by self-interested, disconnected people. Collaboration: working for a shared vision. The bedrock for creativity.
  10. Web 2.0 Enterprise 2.0  Social media infrastructure “for the inside”  Content from anyone  Rich media  Bound by culture and norms of the enterprise “Knowing what other people know”
  11. Innovation Essentials
  12. Passion
  13. Trust
  14. Autonomy
  15. Networks (The real network, not the org chart)
  16. Innovation Infrastructure
  17. Spare Parts (Be a little less tidy) Courtesy St. Paul Almanac
  18. 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
  19. Example: How to get kids to eat school lunch? Courtesy WIRED
  20. 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
  21. “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.”
  22. The Power of ‘And” Magnification
  23. Benjamin Franklin Was an… Author and?
  24. Benjamin Franklin Was a… Author Publisher and?
  25. Benjamin Franklin Was an… Author InventorPublisher and?
  26. Benjamin Franklin Was a… Author Inventor DiplomatPublisher and?
  27. A Polymath!
  28. All ideas have merit They are an opportunity for hybridization… … and energy A good concept embraces many ideas Cherish them Courtesy Style Magazine
  29. How To Kill Innovation in Your Company
  30. The Power of ‘But” Elimination
  31. Benjamin Franklin Was an… Author yeah, but he was really a …
  32. Benjamin Franklin Was a… Publisher yeah, but he was really an …
  33. Benjamin Franklin Was an… Inventor yeah, but he was really a …
  34. Benjamin Franklin Was a… Diplomat
  35. Insisting on a single truth is a way to filter out uncertainty. And paths to insight
  36. 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
  37. Be Tidy – Eliminate Old Stuff  Get rid of mistakes. Or hide them.  Eliminate variation  “Clean-up Days”  “Managed email”  End-to-end ERP
  38. Ignore the Muggles
  39. Insist on Perfect Information  Call it ‘requirements’  And then prioritize  You’ll never get a breakthrough  A form of CYA
  40. Your Innovation Advantage
  41. Treasure Hiding in Plain Sight  Customer complaints  Service metrics  Sourcing contracts  Little data is Big data  Sift through the mundane  Be an alchemist
  42. 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
  43. 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?”
  44. Your Innovation Kit
  45.  Camera (look)  Count to Seven (listen)  Marker (offer control)  Use “And”  Coffee  Toy Box  Home Base
  46. And This Book!
  47. Questions?