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Leading Innovation

Charles Leadbeater

The innovation dilemma


Innovation is more vital It sounds exciting But it can be very painful and prone to failure You know you need to do it but hate it

Leading Innovation

Innovation: always misunderstood


Myth Flash of insight Brilliant idea Individualistic New knowledge Invention Originality Look to the future Internal R & D Product pipeline All about learning
Leading Innovation

Reality Comes from immersion Fail early but often Collaborative Admitting ignorance Mostly development Borrowing Look sideways and backwards Networked, open innovation Consumers as innovators But unlearning just as vital

Innovators support the future

But successful companies like to reinforce past success Set aside some investment (time and money) in new ways of working, especially with demanding clients

Leading Innovation

Innovation requires spare capacity

But managers want organisations to be aligned, no waste Innovation takes some time, freedom and permission Encouraging people to follow their noses

Leading Innovation

Unlearn to create space for the new

But senior managers identity comes from the past Institute unlearning: Room 101 Get rid of Sacred Cows Get people from outside to challenge your history

Leading Innovation

Constructive, open challenge

But being a manager is being in charge Appointing people who might, constructively, disagree with you Find useful deviants Make challenge routine and unthreatening Let the youngest people redesign the organisation

Leading Innovation

Innovation starts with admitting ignorance

But being a manager means knowing the answer Be prepared to look stupid Ask outsiders People fresh into the business Dont immerse people too fast

Leading Innovation

Innovation requires borrowing and humility

But managers hate admitting someone else is better Job swaps Peer reviews/mentoring Shared corporate objectives and targets Learning from sectors that close but not the same

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Innovation happens in border zones

But managers stay in their offices Dont get trapped: your desk is a dangerous place to be Get on the ground, with your clients

Leading Innovation

Innovation is co-creation with clients

That happens at the edge of the organisation, in real time Segment your customers: who do you most learn from? Who are your lead client innovators? Can you give users tools to innovate with you/for you? Radical and disruptive innovation starts with clients in small markets

Leading Innovation

Innovation is development

Having good ideas is just the start, developing them is critical If you have a good idea who do you pitch it to? How does it get developed: skills, budget? How does it get tested? Applying resources in the right way at the right time

Leading Innovation

Innovators have stories to tell

Managers have plans, numbers, market shares Ideas come from imagination Imagination gets sparked by metaphor

Leading Innovation