This is the sixth of several ‘Innovation Perspectives‘ articles we will publish this week from multiple authors to get different perspectives on “Where should innovation reside?” Here is the next perspective in the series:
by Michael Soerensen
To define “ownership” or management of innovation within a company, it’s vital to start out by looking at the organisational side of it. You need a strong innovation organisation in order to spur and cultivate innovation throughout the company – and you need to move away from the ivory tower strategy, where the few decides for the many.
You are not “born” into the innovation organisation on your job title – but on your capabilities to be an ambassador enabled to optimize the innovative thinking of your colleagues! So, how do we identify these ambassadors? The first move is to grant ownership of innovation to everyone! Management needs to stress that ongoing innovation is vital, and that everybody needs to participate – and the incentives must be created, to continuously bring collective innovative thinking into the loop.
When done, the ambassadors are easy to find, and you can start building your innovation organisation. Now, you can start reaping the benefits in continuously asking for ideas and suggestions, having a trim innovation organisation helping you out high and low! You can now get sophisticated, and run campaigns asking specifically on subjects like; CSR, Sustainability, new products, work process improvements, cost reductions, etc. You can even go as far as creating an innovation benchmark, from which you can extract valuable information about your company’s innovation capabilities!
Funny thing is, that when you get a job, in the hiring session you will always here the phrase; “…and, of course, we expect that you will participate in developing our company…” – Has anyone ever measured this?
You can check out all of the ‘Innovation Perspectives‘ articles from the different contributing authors on “Where should innovation reside?” by clicking the link in this sentence.
Michael Soerensen is CMO at Nosco.dk, a danish company, creators of the SaaS innovation platform; Idea Exchange. Michael is a serial entrepreneur, and after great successes and learnful failures he is now truly at home with his buddies at Nosco.