TIP: The innovation keystone you may be missing

Photo: Seagul

When launching your innovation management effort, you must find a way to communicate that the initiative is bigger than just a simple project. We’re talking about the opportunity to define the company’s future. The opportunity to out-differentiate your competition and, more importantly, to write history together. Individuals need a purpose if you want them to dedicate their time to activities not part of their official job description.

So, do make sure you find what makes people jump out of bed in the morning – define a meaningful purpose, a strategic intent that shows how outcomes of the effort will benefit both the company and the world we all live in.

Insight: ‘In the end, the best talent will migrate to those firms that have inspiring goals, along with process, culture, incentives and investment that seeks out exciting innovation-driven growth opportunities.’ (PWC Demystifying Innovation, 2011)

Brick by brick
During a recent visit to ‘Sagrada Família Basilica’ in Barcelona, she came across three bricklayers. They were working on the same area, placing brick on top of brick.

She walked up to the first bricklayer and asked him, ‘What are you doing?. He turned his head and with a look of disdain said, ‘What do you think I am doing? I am laying bricks.’

She moved on to the second bricklayer. She asked him, ‘What are you doing?’ He turned his head and with a look of appreciation said, ‘I am making a wall.’

She approached the third bricklayer and asked him, ‘What are you doing?’. He stepped back, looked up and down at his creation. He turned to her with a smile and a glint in his eye as he said, ‘I am building a cathedral.’

What makes people engage in your innovation effort? Laying bricks, making a wall or building a cathedral?

Pedro do Carmo Costa, Exago’s director and co-founder / pcc@exago.com

FROM THE START: Innovation looks easy – it’s not

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