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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

Give Everyone a Voice

Idea by Dan Bean on November 21, 2012
Organizations create innovation walls. If you’re in an organization, you’re in the club and you have a voice into what it creates. However, if you’re outside the org, you are often separated by the wall of “not created here”. You can shout your voice from afar and sometimes you’re heard. You can ask club members to carry your voice through the wall and sometimes they do. Often there is silence in return. And innovation goes wanting. Give everyone a voice: lower the wall and then really listen…

Defeat a "tear things down" culture

Idea by Chris Grams on November 19, 2012
Linus Pauling said "If you want to have good ideas you must have *many* ideas." Yet in many organizations, the good ideas never surface because people are worried they may have to defend them from criticism or attack while still not fully developed. Protect the idea generators by challenging those who tear ideas down. New rule: if someone doesn't like an idea, rather than attack the idea itself, they must instead suggest a better one so that the organization is always building, not tearing down.

Open Thinking- Focus and Flexible, Result that matters.

Idea by Omar MA on November 20, 2012
Creation of platforms that spark creativity. Fresh ideas that lead to innovations do not come on a fixed time (9 to 5). Technology runs 24/7, so as innovations. Focus on objectives, open whilst planning, flexible on implementation. The end result shall be amazing.

Protect innovation(r) s from their premature departure, with a “nothing is non discussable” type, face saving platform!

Idea by Charles Prabakar on December 5, 2012
Most innovation(r)s get canned prematurely, by sugar coated euphemistic arguments (no ROIC/g, not our way, been there done it, doesn’t work, light yrs ahead etc), but, when we peel its surface, it all comes down to 3 causal groups: cannibalistic fear, protect turf, job security.So,we suggest a “nothing is non discussable” type platform, where, anyone can voice true root causes proactively (& confidentially), with a face saving assurance that it’ll be dealt by leadership, with a win:win mindset!

Time to Talk

Idea by Donald STAVERT on November 21, 2012
Easiest way to get more innovation in organisations is to give the people who work in the organisation time to discuss ideas that would benefit the organisation . Put a bunch of workers in a room with a blank sheet of paper and ask for ideas and you will get dozens. The biggest challenge for the organisation will be responding properly to the suggestions

Bottom-up Research and Development Program

Idea by Nicholas Van Zant on November 20, 2012
Attendance-optional monthly, weekly, or even daily meetings should be open to anyone and everyone in the company - providing a laid-back, "we're all ears" approach where "no input is bad input." When someone comes up with an idea, they are credited with the idea and they receive some equitable return for their input. On top of this, adoption of a program offering up tools for entrepreneurial training, gathering information and utilizing capabilities- cutting out the bureaucracy and red-tape.

Don´t think outside the box, better yet think outside your companies boundaries

Idea by Andres Arcadio Rodriguez on November 21, 2012
I´m the country manager in Latinamerica for an Online Payment Slovakian company, and we had to create a presence in the region, instead of offering usual services, we decided to review the local legislations, and we found, surprisingsly, that some services usually provided by banks, could be provided without a full banking license, so we created new and very innovative local services that now are being offered in 12 european countries, mainly because we look outside our boundaries.

In a stream of ideas some kind of deeper pattern will be evident

Idea by JH Eugenè Joubert on November 20, 2012
Staff - especially new ones - are mostly scared to think out the box and discover that new innovation - it might not be good enough for the shareholders or somebody might laugh at them - so they don't think innovation anymore. To be more innovation friendly one needs to then cultivate a let's talk and get all ideas on the table - once staff see that it's OK to stream ideas they open up and in that stream of ideas the deeper pattern will be evident - THE INNOVATION HUB