We hold these truths to be self-evident:
That all men and women are created as innovators.
That they are endowed with certain unalienable rights, that among these are the right to exercise their creativity, the right to challenge the status quo, the right to imagine radical new ways of doing things, and the right to be heard, however outlandish their ideas may seem.
That to secure these rights, companies need to institute governing structures, processes and mechanisms that encourage and support innovation in all its forms.
That whenever organizations are destructive of these ends, it is the duty of the leadership team to demand the alteration and abolishment of old management practices that frustrate – rather than facilitate – innovation and experimentation, and to institute new management practices founded on principles that enable creativity and rule-breaking and risk-taking; principles that set the spirit of innovation free.
We believe that innovation is far too important to the destiny of an organization to be left to chance! Instead, it absolutely has to be embedded as a systemic enterprise capability, just as we have institutionalized other important processes like quality or customer service or supply chain management. We therefore commit ourselves to helping “process champions” build the sustainable organizational systems that will lead to continuous innovation success.
We believe that innovation is not about silos – it happens at the intersections. We therefore commit ourselves to building a global community around innovation that will maximize connection and conversation across the world, helping to create the unique intersections that become the birthplace of big, breakthrough ideas.
We believe that innovation is not about telling. It’s about doing. So we are committed to enabling innovators to do more of the right stuff, by removing the roadblocks and obstacles that usually get in their way. Our mission is to build a community where we can learn from each other’s everyday experiences, from the practitioners who are truly making innovation happen, and in particular from the corporate “architects” who are building infrastructures to embed innovation as an “all the time, everywhere” capability.
We believe that innovation is not a story of careful, conservative management. It is a story of brave corporate rebels. People who are willing to heroically battle the stranglehold of conventional thinking inside their organizations. People who can take on the mighty forces of incrementalism and the pressure of quarterly results, and actually win! We know this requires incredible passion, energy and perseverance. We therefore commit to supporting and inspiring the rebel fighters and heroes of innovation!
We hereby declare that innovationexcellence.com will serve as a free and open home for the global innovation community, and we pledge to that community our full allegiance.
The Innovation Excellence team
Editor’s note: This post was written by Rowan Gibson, Innovation Excellence co-founder. It appeared as the very first Feature of the Week on August 1st, 2011 when we launched our global innovation platform and community. Rowan’s words ring true today as they did then — so much that I can see this post being an annual commemoration to innovators everywhere. For everyone celebrating freedom(s) and in support of freedom victories large to small, we invite you to read and reread a Declaration of Innovation.
- Mari Anixter, managing editor