Where Science Meets Muse

Nurturing an Innovation Driven Culture

Posted by Plish on February 10, 2009

(Courtesy of paulachang.com)

(Courtesy of paulachang.com)


The folks over at “The Heart of Innovation” (Ideachampions.com) have come up with an excellent post delineating 50 ways organizations can keep that innovative edge.  (There is also an article in the Jan 2008 issue of Leadership Excellence that talks about forming a culture of innovation.)

Some of the 50 are nuances of others, but in general the list is very helpful and hits on important topics that I agree with wholeheartedly.  These guidelines can be used to flesh out the GROW! acronym.

Some of my favorites?

2. Wherever you can, whenever you can, always drive fear out of the workplace. Fear is “Public Enemy #1” of an innovative culture.

14. Embrace and celebrate failure. 50 to 70 per cent of all new product innovations fail at even the most successful companies. The main difference between companies who succeed at innovation and those who don’t isn’t their rate of success — it’s the fact that successful companies have a LOT of ideas, pilots, and product innovations in the pipeline.

39. Avoid extreme time pressures.

 I would also add a corollary to #14:

51.  Don’t make a project upon which your business depends be the Flagship Project for innovation at your company.  You’ll be sure to violate one or more of the preceding 50 rules if you do.

I would also clarify point 25: “Select and install idea management software for your intranet.”

Idea management software, while nice to have, is by no means required.  If you’ve got an intranet and certain directories available to everyone, you can set up your own idea depository/database and make it as interactive as you want.

Do you have any you’d add to their list?


9 Responses to “Nurturing an Innovation Driven Culture”

  1. Thanks for your kind acknowledgments. I hear you loud and clear about #25 (idea management software). Well said. I may go back into our list and amend #25, as you note. Thanks for the feedback.

  2. Plish said

    Mitch, thanks for stopping by and for putting together such a well thought out list. You’re always welcome to drop by and share your perspectives! All the best!

  3. Love this! In today’s economic downturn, it’s more important than ever to maintain an innovative edge. I think #14 is especially important. It’s crucial to be open to failure. A lot can learned from failure. The lightbulb is a great example, as are the Post-It or WD-40 for example. Dr. Spencer Silver invented the adhesive used in the Post-It 6 years before Art Fry discovered a use marketable use for it. And it took Rocket Chemical Company 40 tries to perfect WD-40, which now has thousands of uses. Who knows what other every-day objects were developed out of previous failures!

  4. Plish said

    Great points Kathie! I don’t want to say failure is easy, but small experiments that disprove subsystems feasibility (if possible) are often cheaper and easier to get at than grandiose full proof of concept experiments.

    Thanks for joining the discussion!

  5. Paula said

    I’m glad you liked my poster design 🙂 Thanks for including my name.

  6. Plish said

    It was too cool not to use! Great artwork and thanks for sharing! 🙂

  7. […] are the articles I’m talking about: Nurturing an Innovation Driven Culture by Michael Plishka Gelecein is yapsn tasarlamak by Yusuf Ozan (and no, I can’t read it […]

  8. Paula said

    You’re welcome! I love your writing.

  9. Plish said

    Thanks, Paula!

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