Never before has leadership been so critical, and never before has it seemed in such short supply. That's why we're delighted to announce the Leaders Everywhere Challenge today. The second leg of the 2012-13 HBR/McKinsey M-Prize calls for real-world case studies and bold hacks that demonstrate how we can dramatically expand the leadership capacity of all of our organizations by both redistributing power in a way that gives many more individuals an opportunity to lead, and equipping and energizing people to lead even when they lack formal authority.
In February of this year we asked a group of MIXers who have made key contributions over the past few years to join us in our first ever Hack the MIX hackathon. Over the course of a month, we collaboratively developed a set of almost 100 ideas for how to make the MIX even better than it is today. As usual, we were amazed by the depth, breadth, cleverness, and sheer passion our community produced.
Innovation poses two enormous problems for most leaders given the way they are trained to think. First, it’s a time-based form of value. It goes sour like milk. This year’s “must-have” gadget will end up in a landfill next Christmas or at least be overwritten by Version 2.0. Second, innovation only pays in the future for which you presently have no data. As Kierkegaard put it “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
Pull out the list of the “most innovative companies” from your favorite business magazine. With the exception of their brand recognition, which is the entry fee for these beauty pageants, they have few innovation competencies or practices in common that would distinguish them from the rest of the rabble—whether unique strategies, unusual financing or novel ways of hiring and staffing.
Today, we’re delighted to announce the ten winners of the Innovating Innovation Challenge, the first leg of this year’s HBR/McKinsey M-Prize for Management Innovation. But first, we’d like to acknowledge, again, the 24 finalists, whose superb stories and hacks made for some wrenching decision making. A huge thank you to all of the challengers with the imagination and daring to take on the status quo—and the generosity to share what they’ve learned in the process.
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.
As an open innovation and collaborative platform, the MIX is able to thrive thanks to the contributions of the most progressive leaders, provocative management thinkers, and in-the-trenches management innovators—indeed, anyone with ideas for making our organizations fit for the 21st century. As we begin a new year, we’d like to recognize the five most popular Hacks, Stories, Videos, and Blog Posts of 2012, based on traffic.
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?
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.