No wow, no innovation!
All of us that work in the innovation space know how hard it is to rally a large organization to drive and embed innovation for many good (and sometimes not so good) reasons. Innovation requires focus, capability, investment, time, and people. Resources that are scarce and precious. Leadership knows the rewards of innovation, but they have to balance priorities and make tough trade-offs. But when leaders see the fruits of innovation, their antennas go up, they get excited, they want do it. The best way to achieve this is by showing leaders what the fruits can look like. Find opportunities to showcase successes, bring champions along, create innovation heroes, make it real and tangible. This will create a demand for innovation capability and attract resources to innovation. If you WOW your leadership, you will be able to drive innovation.
No innovation, no wow!
Innovation is the #1 way to win in the marketplace. When we find creative ways to address unmet consumer needs based on deep insights (fresh, articulated and factual), our chances to wow the consumer are significantly higher than when we bring solutions that are old news. When we wow the consumer, we create loyalty, we create competitive advantage, we create value.
Whirlpool real life example:
Leadership conferences are often a series for power point presentations. At the end of 2010 we took a risk, we did a very short power point and spend the majority of the time assigned to innovation in a round robin of global projects showcasing the innovation progress with “live” examples. The impact was greater than anticipated, we “wowed” the leadership, creating the necessary platform to bring innovation to the front of the leadership agenda in every region.
I’ve been in the exciting role of Global Director of Innovation at Whirlpool for close to 3 years, the most exciting time in my career thus far. This has given me the opportunity to learn from the best. To reflect, on a daily, almost hourly basis about what works, what doesn’t, what ticks, what excites, even what “sucks” in innovation, in a company that has made it its modus operandi. During this time I’ve been capturing my thoughts in short, suggestive, fun and sometimes provocative sentences I put on twitter @moisesnorena. In these blog entries I intend to expand on what’s behind each i-blurb, hoping to enlighten, even if a little bit, those that are in the continuous search of making innovation work.
Moises Norena is Global Director of Innovation at Whirlpool, where he leads a team that works on the infrastructure that enables innovation. Whirlpool is a company recognized for its commitment to making innovation an enterprise capability by engaging employees in the discipline.