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Innovating Innovation

With the Innovating Innovation challenge we’re looking for your stories and hacks on how to make innovation a real capability in organizations.  With the Quick MIX, we gave you an easy way to engage and inspire others on a related question: what is the one thing you’d change to make organizations more innovation-friendly?

Like the M-Prize, this process was open to everyone.  The best contributions are being recognized on our blog, on HBR.org, and in the social media channels of the MIX, Harvard Business Review and McKinsey & Company.

What is the one thing you'd change to make organizations more innovation-friendly?

Submitted Ideas

Demystify innovation

Idea by Azra Brankovic on November 19, 2012
Share detail on what you mean by innovation and what you expect people to do. It is not obvious to even experienced people. Consider having peer-led events to discuss the approach and behaviors that are appropriate to your organization. That takes off the pressure and makes innovation capabilities sink in informally.

Innovation has to go beyond products and technology!

Idea by Stefan Lindegaard on November 20, 2012
Does it matter that you have the best product or technology if this does not provide the best OVERALL solution to the customer? No, it does not help much. Innovation often fails because there is too much focus on the product or technology aspect of innovation. We need a more holistic approach to innovation; an approach that not only focuses on products and technologies, but also on services and processes. For this to happen, training and education across the organization is key.

Increase CQ (Creativity Quotient) throughout the orgainization

Idea by Jason Prunty on November 20, 2012
CQ is built on many aspects of the creative process. The ideas of design thinking plays a big part, as well as other concepts. But, we have to look at how the creative process is practiced through the company. This metric can be studied by, setting a baseline and studying the ebbs and flows of the creative practice through "everyday work". The more aligned the creative process is to everyday work the higher an organizations CQ score. The higher the CQ score that greater chance for innovation.

Put the experiments and trials score-board out of the game until the game really start.

Idea by MAX (Mitesh) Patel on December 1, 2012
Many times our organizational processes don't give us enough chances to fail and improve because they bring the score-board in the game even in the practice session. Everything we do is considered and measured into total efficiency matrix. All our trials and given time are considered as the chances given to us to prove our self. As the trials are meant to be failed on large basis they hand-cuff, discard the creative people with red and yellow card that you haven't shown the tangible results.

Redefine Innovation: Make innovation easy, simple, interesting and fun activity for everybody.

Idea by MAX (Mitesh) Patel on December 1, 2012
If you ask experts, thinkers, gurus and real innovators what is innovation, you will get the answers that reflect Doing and Thinking different,Think Outside the Box,Cultivating new skills,Detail focus to customers etc.The definition of innovation build perception in people as you have to be God Gifted,Genius,Constantly learning,Practicing hard. These things demotivate many people to believe that are not much innovative or this is not my cup of tea and lost their creative confidence.

Target 50% failure for internal projects

Idea by Mike Anderson on November 26, 2012
If you hit targets 100% of the time (budget, delivery, timescale, KPIs etc.) then you aren't taking enough risk. Leadership should regard 100% as a failure of innovation and ambition. The ideal employee should get it right 50% of the time. To get this dynamic working in the organisation, individuals should stand up in weekly meetings, say what they have done, whether it was a success/failure, and what they learned.

Swap effort for talent (or Let's praise people for effort instead for talent)

Idea by Alberto Blanco on November 22, 2012
When someone is praised as “talented”, it automatically creates a subtle but driving pressure to protect his intelligence and reputation. That’s why “talented” people are so risk averse (e.g. tend to aim too low, or in some cases, to cheat the game). As a clear contrast, when someone is praised for effort, his cleverness is not at stake. Hence, he is free to stretch himself, try harder, aim high, and purposely fail (e.g. iterate) just as elite athletes, entrepreneurs, and inventors do.

People Mindset

Idea by Olumide Akintunde on November 20, 2012
Since innovations are made by people, people are as well needed to make these innovations work i.e. become business solutions. Aggressive campaigns should be carried out in-house just before an innovation is made. Employees, customers and suppliers should be made to understand that innovations are key to the mission and vision of the organisation. Sooner or later, employees, customers and suppliers would be acquainted with the importance of innovations as a means of increasing growth.

It's innovation if its new to you!

Idea by Mark McDonald on November 20, 2012
Innovation can be daunting, particularly when equated with invention. Innovation is the introduction of something new, not necessarily something that has never previously existed. Anchoring innovation back to the idea of creating new things can make organization's more innovation friendly. "Using your eyes to plagiarize." Bringing ideas and practices home lowers barriers to innovation, reduces risks and creates change capacity. It's not a re-run it's a new idea to you that creates value.