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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

When you innovate, celebrate

Idea by Jonathan Opp on November 20, 2012
Create an annual innovation award for the best idea put into action. Whether it’s a new technology, new process, or any change that dramatically improves the customer experience. Make it a big deal. Turn winners into heroes. And make the nomination process open and peer-driven. This will get employees actively looking for innovation across the organization. The more they see it happening and recognize it in all its forms—the more it will become core to the culture.

Move from Command&Control to Connect&Create

Idea by Dany DeGrave on November 24, 2012
First create an environment of trust and inclusion of a diversity of thoughts (and people).

Encourage people to work using IT tools they like to use

Idea by Frank Calberg on November 20, 2012
When people are encouraged to use their own devices to work, for example their own smartphones, laptops, tablets etc., as well as media of their own choice, for example various kinds of social media / crowdsourcing technologies, I imagine that people will feel more empowered and motivated – and that innovative thinking / behaviour will be strengthened.

Kill A Stupid Rule

Idea by Jay Millstead on November 20, 2012
In "Kill the Company," Lisa Bodell suggests a practical approach of "Kill a Stupid Rule." In small groups use a few minutes to answer one question: If you could kill or change all the stupid rules that get in the way of better serving our customers or just doing your job, what would they be and how would you do it? Sit Back.For 10 mins.,Brainstorm.Ask Everyone for their favorite.Pick a few easy/high impact and kill them on the spot. Shampoo bottle it. Lather. Rinse. Repeat in future meetings.

Thought Collaboration Across All Teams In Organisation

Idea by Nilesh Puntambekar on November 21, 2012
Thought collaboration among memebrs of a team can be much maginified by thought collaboration within different teams. Most of times one team doesnot know what help can be obtained from other team or even doesnot believe that other team can help them. Intentional creation of cross-team collaboration opportunities help to create culture to ask for help outside team's perifery. Breaking invisible barriers among teams in same organisation helps to create innovations in unexpected areas or ways.

Throw away

Idea by Peter Koenig on November 20, 2012
Throw away organigrams. Throw away job descriptions. Let people define their own roles in the organization according to their skills and what they love doing. Let them either create their own projects or coopt themselves to projects of others that inspire them. They are going to do so anyway if they have any fizz. Redraw the organization chart. If they're unable to find their place, fire them - it's best for all. If you're unable to handle this, fire yourself! - it's best for all.

Making Big Turn Small

Idea by Eric Curtis on November 20, 2012
Organizations are too big, so we need to figure out a way to make big...small. Change can happen faster, poses less risk, and can be tested more effective in smaller size departments, groups, and teams. To make this happen we can apply principals found in the rule of 150. By keeping groups of employees below the tipping point of 150 we can be far more innovative and still be able to utilize effective team management at the same time apply change management in adopting the new innovations.

Get an external jury to hand out annual innovation awards

Idea by Meggie Williams on November 20, 2012
I was an innovation project manager for years. The whole focus on getting everything done within 10% of time and budget wore out my joy of work. It's the creativity, newness, challenge that makes working in innovation inspiring. Give credits for that. I propose an external jury simply to avoid company politics, to avoid awards going to CEO's pet projects or to a department that didn't get the award yet. Include an award for projects that didn't make it. Recognition goes a long way.

Think and Act Like a Start-Up

Idea by Gil Laroya on November 20, 2012
Every organization can benefit from being like a startup. This entails engaging your employees at the individual level, empowering each person to leverage their strengths towards a common goal. The startup mentality defines each person as a lateral component of the org chart, not a superior nor a report. What separates each individual should be their strengths and limitations, NOT their job title. Do away with "teams" or "groups" which feel artificial. Leverage abilities and generate confidence.