Author Archives: Mitch Ditkoff
“Organizations are like gardens, not machines. We keep bringing in mechanics, when what we need are gardeners.” – Peter Senge If you want to establish a culture of innovation, there are three things you need to know: It’s possible It’s simple (but not easy) It’s just like growing vegetables Possible? Absolutely! Innovation is all about manifesting what doesn’t yet exist — but could (or, as the more entrepreneurial among us might say, manifesting the seemingly impossible). Simple? That, too. But simple isn’t always easy, especially since human beings have an odd tendency to make things complicated (especially business processes designed to increase innovation). Growing vegetables? Really? Yup. If you want the fruits of your labor to yield results, you will need to make the same kind of effort a gardener makes. Forget about theory for a moment. It’s a harvest you’re after. How to begin? Get the ground ready. Oh … Continue reading
If you work in an organization that wants a “culture of innovation” — you have two basic choices: outside/in or inside/out. Outside/in is the most common approach. It assumes that re-engineering systems or processes is the way to go. You know, crank up the rewards, have more brainstorming sessions, increase cross-functional collaboration, buy idea management software and so forth. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, mind you, but it’s often just a slick way of repositioning the deck chairs on the Titanic. It looks good. It’s promising. You feel like you are doing something, but the ship is still sinking. The other approach — inside/out — is far less common. Understandably so. And why it’s less common is because it’s slower and, to a lot of left-brained business people, borders on voodoo. The inside/out approach doesn’t so much aim for “organizational change” as it does individual change (working on … Continue reading
In an extraordinary move, destined to be emulated by forward thinking business leaders everywhere, I’ve just outsourced all my sleep to a guy named Namdev in New Delhi. Yes, it’s true. I no longer need to sleep. Namdev does it for me. It’s astounding how much more productive I’ve been this week. And, as if my sleep breakthrough wasn’t enough, I’ve also outsourced all my exercise to a guy named Sung Lee in Malaysia. God bless Sung Lee! He’s been on the Stairmaster three hours today and will be working on our delts and pecs tomorrow. Needless to say, I’m feeling totally buff at the moment. I was just about to have a big piece of cherry cheesecake to celebrate my innovative, time-saving enhancements, but I’ve outsourced all my eating to a woman named Min Yung in Taiwan. I’m down to 145. Hallelujah! All my pants fit! The only thing … Continue reading
There’s an infinite amount of extraordinary experiences you can manifest when you have an inspired vision, the right technology, and committed people willing to go for it. Turn up the volume! How can you collaborate virtually to create big time results? Don’t miss an article (2,900+) – Subscribe to our RSS feed and join our Innovation Excellence group! Mitch Ditkoff is the Co-Founder and President of Idea Champions and the author of “Awake at the Wheel”, as well as the very popular Heart of Innovation blog.
If someone from your company’s leadership team asks you to locate an outside consultant to help your organization establish a culture of innovation, STOP for a moment and, with all due respect, ask the requesting member of the leadership team to answer the following questions. If they answer “NO” to any of them, do not accept the assignment. Really. I mean it. If you’re afraid to decline the assignment, there’s no hope for you, your senior team, or your organization. Zero. If you say YES without understanding the current reality of the senior team, you will only be going on a wild goose chase — wasting your time, theirs, and the TBD consulting company’s who will be asked to generate a hefty proposal that none of your senior leaders will be ready, willing, or able to respond to. 10 Questions to Ask Senior Leaders Before Looking for an Outside Innovation … Continue reading