Helen Walters on a recent talk from the heads of IDEO in New York titled Leading Innovation: Process Is No Substitute:
In most companies, there's a profound tension between the right-brainers (for lack of a better term) espousing design, design thinking and user-centered approaches to innovation and the left-brained, more spreadsheet-minded among us. Most C-suites are dominated by the latter, all of whom are big fans of nice neat processes and who pay good money to get them implemented rigorously. So often, the innovation process is treated as a simple, neat little machine. Put in a little cash and install the right process, and six months later, out pops your new game-changing innovation -- just like toast, right from the toaster. But that, of course, is wrong.
The "seven sins" that Walters covers are spot on, and the piece is worth reading in full. In particular, there is an overriding theme from which we could all benefit:
- build inclusion into process rather than protectionism,
- execute quickly and let momentum work in your favor,
- and finally, change (innovation) takes time -- "be explicit about the impact that you expect" from your change efforts.