- A company (or a person) must change as fast or faster than the environment or else degenerate.
- Change is painful. It takes work to building new value and it requires loss of old ways and value. It is resisted by a great majority and [pursued only by a enthusiastic, disciplines minority who make things happen.
- You must create an environment that supports innovation or else all creative efforts will be subdued by inertial forces.
- The fly into the web analogy.
- Work against: rigidity; standardization; and unity-think; fixed circular-thinking assumptions drive behavior.
- Shape-up or ship-out those who:
- Feel entitled to progress without risk, extra or overtime effort, or change.
- Are lazy; argumentative before listening; and generally negative.
- Expose everyone to on-going educational assignments. Education takes work to gain new insights and requires giving up old assumptions – a change conditioner.
- Give all employees big picture relevance so they know how they fit in; why they are vital and what the company’s objectives are. Then, they can contribute and get excited.
- Educate all to the principles of personal or company progress.
- No pain, no gain. Beginnings are hard don’t under-invest and under-persist.
- There will be plenty of problems with unknown solutions; take small risks by experimenting safely and cheaply.
- When trying new things lots of mistakes an loses will occur: find the less, share and discuss it; and try again.
- Invest in winners and harvest the losers.
- Budget for surprise factors. They will always appear to slow progress and raise costs.
- Look for serendipity and lucky portholes. They too always appear. The prepared mind sees them; the opportunist jumps on them.
- Nothing happens without a key project manager (champion) who has:
- A burst of enterprise to overcome inertial and tough beginnings.
- A sense of urgency; a use of creative deadlines.
- Lots of discipline, enthusiasm, emotional ownership and persistence.
- A sense of blind, open-minded faith that something will be learned.
- Most good ideas are disguised and fragile at first. Be supportive and playful with them for awhile before criticizing and casting them away.
- Entertain up to five options before choosing one project to work on.
- Get five times the use of your selective perception.
- Don’t get biased and coerced into pursuing one option that has fading potential.
- Do some background study and interviewing, especially outside your industry.
- Nothing comes from nothing.
- Innovation = an idea (easy) (+) implementation (tough).
- Creative process has six steps:
- A need stimulates purposeful work.
- Background learning aided by selective perception. . .
- Turns into total absorption, concentration on an opportunity.
- Incubate (literally sleep on it).
- Illumination (light bulb).
- Grind it out verification, modification and final production. Turn it over for maintaining and fine-tuning.
- The creative process occurs continuously nested within a larger process. Innovation begets new innovation.
- Recruit and condition the right types of people:
- For bigger projects and pioneering efforts have a few tiger, penetrators who can take an idea and run with it.
- For small innovations make sure you have more peak performers who love to achieve and fine-tune their area. They respond naturally to an innovative climate.
- Steadies and coasters will not innovate, but they can follow or resist depending upon the environment.
- Help to find, articulate and spread around possible innovation projects to stimulate other creative thinking and hope for some adoptions.
- Talk to best, progressive, most-open customers to find new needs to fill.
- Have each department brainstorm on ways to achieve objectives, productivity, and enhanced skills.
- Talk to employees about fantasies and frustrations to find new needs.
- Type up the “someday if someone wants to adopt” lists.
- Make employees responsible for growing GP$ faster than total people costs to allow for wage increases. No progress, no raises.
- Foster individual thinking by MBWA and making them think:
- Help to identify the problems instead of symptoms and ask for a solution.
- Socratic questioning 80%; talk to each, clarify, support 20%.
- Support any initiative; the first step of an upward spiral.
- It’s the emotion that counts as much as the viability of the idea.
- Help to shape and build the 8idea, scale the expectations.
- Look for quick little wins and adjustments.
- Give them all credit; even when you secretly do most of it.
- For the “champion” who adopts a key project, maximize the odds for success by:
- Building on company strengths and values.
- A lot best people and tools.
- Budget the project but be prepared to go 40 – 100% over and persist.
- Insure lots of environment support with enthusiastic communication.
- Help with holistic, multi-level efficient decisions.
- Make sure two or more enthusiastic customers and suppliers are willing to collaborate; avoid being too ahead of the times.
- Break the project into bite-size stages.
- Don’t hand-off to a maintainer until it is up and running smoothly.
- Pay such people well and be creative with project completion rewards.
- Innovative people and firms tend to stay so. Static ones remain at rest and require great efforts to start-up.
- To be creative takes mainly desire or necessity. To implement takes mainly discipline and enthusiasm. Special intellectual abilities are over-rated and laziness in many disguises (excuses) is the main deterrent to progress. Answers to common laziness stalls:
- Change won’t lead to perfection.Answer: Any progress is better and enlightening.
- We are too big (or anything).Answer: Others have turned around, so can we.
- We have union. Answer: Turn them into a stakeholder and involve them in the process.
- There is no top management support.Answer: Engage in guerrilla warfare.
- Where would we start:Answer: With our strengths; with you; and let’s take five minutes now.
- We can’t change now, there are other disruptions.Answer: There will always be disruptions.
- We haven’t studied it enough.Answer: Let’s avoid analysis paralysis.
INNOVATION GUIDELINES – SECTION SIX