The article below by Rowan Gibson asserts organizations should have an innovation czar. This isn’t unusual thinking. You”ll notice I prefer to think for myself. Isn’t that what innovation is? The last thing an organization needs is one more iota of bureaucracy where their model of growth is creating one more thing to diminish employees capacity to do their work. What I do find beneficial in the article is eliminating protective silos. However, doing so can’t be entirely mandated. It is a level of trust. Challenging management dogma, holding people accountable and executing. By the way, the companies noted in the full article as paragons of openness and innovation are stumbling. Why? Easy.
Putting innovation out on the periphery reinforces several erroneous and persistent views. One is that innovation is something that happens at the margins, not in the core business. Another is that innovation is the responsibility of a small cadre of experts, not something that should involve everyone else at the company—and even people on the outside. Still another is that innovation is mostly about new products and technologies, not about breakthroughs in cost structures, processes, services, customer experiences, management systems, competitive strategies and business models.
Instead of trying to manage innovation by forcing it to reside in a disconnected “silo” or enclave, where it neither involves nor infects the rest of the organization, companies should be doing trying to embed innovation as an “all-the-time, everywhere” capability that permeates the entire firm.
To make innovation a pervasive and corporate-wide capability, the responsibility for innovation needs to be broadened beyond conventional structures and spread throughout a company’s businesses and functions. This is exactly what happened to quality in the 1970s and 1980s when it ceased to be the exclusive responsibility of a specific department, and instead, became distributed to every corner of the company. What is required today is a similarly systemic infrastructure for innovation that starts at the corporate level and infiltrates every part of the organization chart. An infrastructure that makes managers accountable at all levels for driving, facilitating, and embedding the innovation process into every nook and cranny of the culture.
Read more via Does Your Firm Have an “Innovation Czar”? by Rowan Gibson.
Jim Woods is a leadership development and training consultant deploying his unique abilities in character based training and strategy.
Jim is president of InnoThink Group a human resources and leadership management consulting firm. He has an absolute passion for people development and are constantly refining and adapting his programs in order to ensure that they have the maximum impact on those we serve.