I listened to a webinar on developing organizational innovation recently.  The excerpts below are from this presentation.  Click here to download the entire 45 minute presentation.

  • The term “innovation” has been used in so many different ways that it has almost lost its meaning.
  • Innovation doesn’t really mean the same as invention.  Its about new things and new approaches but its not the same as invention.
  • Innovation does not mean technology.  Technology is not required for innovation.  Obviously its going to help facilitate but its not the same thing.  It doesn’t mean redefining an industry.
  • Innovation is the creation of something new which when its implemented leads to a positive, measurable outcome.

People: Not all organizations need to have that one legendary innovative leader.  Organizations who have innovation in their DNA have leaders who are discovery driven vs. delivery driven.  The engage in questioning, observing, connecting the dots.  It has to be everybody’s job to maintain that sense of organizational curiosity.  It begins with leadership at all levels of the organization.  This filters down to people who want to be a part of the discovery process.

Process: Operational processes and accountability are the baseline from which an organization can innovate.  Process is essential for maintaining that sense of shared accountability.

Philosophy: How do you take innovation from the mission statement and make it part of how you do business?  You must allow people to take risks and make mistakes.  People learn when they make mistakes in the right places.  The key is to go back and help them understand what went wrong.  Everyone has to understand and be accountable for where  in their job are they allowed to make mistakes and learn from them and where are the critical areas where there is less leeway.