Companies are looking actively for innovation management tools. Lets give them a tool which challenges the status quo and sets the culture which makes innovation happen. Instead of making glorified idea boxes, lets make a tool which trains on how to innovate, prevents idea shootdowns and makes cubicle dwellers take ownership of idea rather than smothering an idea through slow corporate funnel. A right tool could help innovate innovation at scale.
Contrary to popular belief managers are not evil.
Its just that they have been trained in the old taylorian 19th century management practices. They want innovation, but go about in totally wrong ways which actively then hinders innovation.
If I was to go about teaching them next generation management they would put me in "preacher" bucket and shut their ears. Tried that. Doesn't work that well. Atleast not on scale.
At the most basic level, three things need to change.
1. Prevent "bozos" from shooting down truly disruptive ideas, because they did not understand.
2. Get rid of "CEO's idea is the best" syndrome common with voting/rating systems
2. Make ideas move faster instead of getting stuck in corporate black holes.
Think about it. 85% of original fortune 500 companies do not exist any more. Why do big companies get disrupted despite spending millions on innovation management?
Why do entrepreneurs succeed? What if we could make every employee think and act like an entrepreneur? Could we unleash a "silicon valley" in every organization? Imagine the limitless potential if people could be engaged to execute their ideas, without the usual slow cycle common in large organizations.
Since innovation management as known today is totally broken it needs to change, we all agree. Since the current tools just mimic this broken process they need to change too.
Instead of changing innovation culture by teaching managers how to innovate, lets levarage what they are already doing.
Looking for tools to help them innovate. As it turns out the current tools are just replicas of slow top down innovation management funnels. This is not helping fast tracking innovation.
If we make a tool which sets the right behavior we can influence decision makers at a rapid pace.
For example organizations are so slow at implementing ideas because they dont train their employees on how to run cheap and effectiv e experiements by themselves. Since employees don't know how to experiment, companies have to collect the ideas, select the best one, run them through subject matter expert and then start implementing. By the time things start rolling market opportunity is lost and idea giver is disillusioned.
If we have a tool where people can have structured way of running experiments we could cut short slow cycles. We can provide managers visibility which they are concerned with without making them meddle. Since only ideas with enough maturity through constant experimentation reach funding stage, it relieves "purse holders" from checking many ideas and shooting down ideas just because they did not understand. When an
In one shot we can diversify and make the organization take smaller riskier bets, rather than large safer bets.
Best part of running experiments makes one feel like they are progessing and have an ownership over the idea. This is very motivating.
Once the tool is in use, it makes the ownership transfer to front end employees.
Since they have the ownership they have more desire to get things done. Since they are now capable of running experiments and understand how to fail fast they start to quickly weed out what doesn't work.
Without always going to committee for decisions which kills the inventor spirit and makes ideas die due to delay.
From managers perspective they can easily see which idea is reaching maturity. A system like this helps identifies the innovators, not just ideas.
Decision makers have to only study promising ideas, which are mature and should be taken forward instead of 1000's of ideas. Side effect is also that good ideas are not unnecessarily shot down due to lack of time or understanding.
An front end employee driven innovation brings the joy of creating which is the most joyful feeling known to man, instead of just haning down cherished ideas to specialized innovation teams which are opaque.
I would suggest that the management would let the tool take its necessary course, without meddling.
There has to be enough slack in organization to innovate. This is a necessary condition. Not a sufficient condition though.
So first organization should create slack time.
Then the managers must allocate innovation funding which if possible should be release with as little friction as possible. Even auto release should be explored.
Ofcourse organizations which insist on always having successful experiments are destiner to fail!
Too many to name
Gary Hamel - Future of management
Lean startup - Eric Ries
Customer development - Steve Blank
The human equation - Pfeffer
And many many more :)