SOLVING THE TOUGHEST MANAGEMENT CHALLENGES—TOGETHER GET STARTED


As human beings, we are born with a creative impulse—with an innate desire to use our imagination to better the world around us.  Yet, all too often, our organizations end up being less innovative than the people within them. The dozens of in-the-trenches innovators who responded to our Innovating Innovation Challenge embody the first assertion—and are working relentlessly and fearlessly to overturn the second.

Chances are, innovation doesn’t work where you work—or only works some of the time, mostly in spite of your organization’s system and processes. Why? Because you don’t understand what makes the innovation game so different from everything else you do at work—and you haven’t adjusted your playbook to accommodate these differences.

Andy Warhol knew it all along: “Good business is the best art.” And lately, a number of business thinkers and leaders have begun to embrace the arts, not as an escapist notion, a parallel world after office hours, or a creative asset, but as an integral part of the human enterprise that ought to be woven into the fabric of every business—from the management team to operations to customer service.

We recently ran an on-line brainstorming session we call “Quick MIX” focused on a topic related to the current Innovating Innovation M-Prize challenge. The question for the Quick MIX was: what is the one thing you’d change to make organizations more innovation-friendly?  Last week we ran the first installment with eight provocative recommendations distilled from Quick MIX contributions. Read the second installment here for eight additional ideas.

You thought you did everything right—gathered market research and consumer insights; brainstormed, prototyped, and tested a promising new idea; developed detailed financial models and a solid marketing plan. Yet your company’s new product or service didn’t perform as expected. What did you overlook?

Quick MIX Summary Part 1

We recently ran an on-line brainstorming session we call “Quick MIX” focused on a topic related to the current “Innovating Innovation” M-Prize challenge.  The question for the Quick MIX was: what is the one thing you’d change to make organizations more innovation-friendly? Over the course of a few days, MIXers from around the world submitted over 100 answers to this question, many of them receiving lots of praise and tweets from the MIX community.  There was so much insight packed into the Quick MIX submissions that we decided to provide a summary of the major takeaways from this exercise, grouped into broad themes (you might recognize these from the Innovating Innovation challenge brief).  Below is our first installment, covering eight broad recommendations on how to make organizations more innovation-friendly.  We’ll present another eight in a blog next week.

Just a few weeks ago Harvard Business Review and McKinsey & Co. opened the first leg of their 2012/13 M-Prize challenge: "Innovating Innovation." The M-Prize's overall goal is to "surface the world's most progressive management practices and most provocative management ideas" and connect and celebrate individuals reinventing management. This particular challenge — where I'm serving as a judge — seeks "real-world case studies and bold ideas that demonstrate how every element of a company's management model can be retooled to make it innovation-friendly."

The most adaptive, agile companies and organizations are figuring out how to leverage what they do best to take advantage of global, seismic shifts in media, technology and society. Today’s newest and brightest example is a distributed philanthropic movement called GivingTuesday.

Game-changing innovation is a beautiful thing. Disruptive products and services are unleashed. New markets are created. Customers smile, employees cheer and shareholders win. What’s not to like?

Management thinking is inherently faddish, but there are some perennial favourites that never fall out of favour.  Innovation is one those evergreen themes: it is a rare CEO who doesn’t list innovation as one her top four or five priorities.

When we launched the Harvard Business Review/McKinsey M-Prize for Management Innovation last year, our goal was to surface the world’s most amazing management practices, and to highly those individuals around the world who are reinventing “the technology of human accomplishment.”

In the creative economy, innovation is more important than ever. Innovation is the only insurance against irrelevance.  It’s the only antidote to margin-crushing competition, the only hope for out-performing a dismal economy, and the only way to truly amaze your customers.  Innovation—in operations, products, business models and ecosystems—isn’t merely a competitive advantage, it’s the competitive advantage.  

Watch Gary Hamel, co-founder of the Management Innovation eXchange (MIX), discuss how to make innovation an everyday, everywhere capability. In this video blog, Hamel lays out three critical questions you can use to test the depth of your organization’s innovation competence.

When we launched the Harvard Business Review/McKinsey M-Prize for Management Innovation last year, we aimed to enlist the most progressive practitioners and thinkers in the collective effort of reinventing what we call “the technology of human accomplishment.” We believed that people from all over the world in every realm of endeavor were launching initiatives and experimenting with radical practices to advance the cause of making all organizations more resilient, inventive, inspiring, and accountable.

A few weeks ago we shared twenty-four real-world case studies and bold hacks for accelerating the shift to a more principled, patient, and socially accountable capitalism. After much debate and some wrenching decision-making among the judges, we’re delighted to announce the winners of the Long-Term Capitalism Challenge —the third leg of the HBR/McKinsey M-Prize for Management Innovation.

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