Innovation theorists and practitioners agree that there are many facets to innovation. They agree that within organizations some structures support innovation while others hinder it. And they agree that some cultures are conducive to innovation while others are not. Recognizing the multi-dimensional nature of innovation will help us understand why companies that have taken some action to promote innovation failed because the action they took was incomplete or insufficient. And what actions can really help organizations make innovation part of their DNA.
The Art of Innovation model – see my book and TEDx talk – is a comprehensive approach to innovation in organizations. It argues that to fully realize its innovation potential an organization must work at three levels:
Develop the SOURCES of creativity – the elements that are required for any creative act – Talent, Energy and Method.
Establish a STRUCTURE for innovation – recognize the dynamics between Individual and Team and mobilize them to work in innovative ways, define Targets for innovation and then set up Systems to deliver those targets.
Shape a CULTURE for innovation by promoting Ideas and Freedom, fostering Engagement and Humor and taking reasoned risks.
Leading with innovation in mind calls for new thinking and action at many different levels each with its own particularities. This is why there are apparently so many obstacles to innovation. This is why leaders need to work on Talent, Energy, Method, Individual, Team, Target, System, Ideas Freedom, Engagement, Humor, Risk. It is the skilful synthesis of all these twelve innovation drivers that will create the ultimate masterpiece: the perpetually innovative organization.
image credit: robinmeade.com
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Dimis Michaelides, Managing Director at Performa Consulting, is global business consultant and keynote speaker on The Art of Innovation. His book, The Art of Innovation: Integrating Creativity in Organizations, was published in 2007.