Columbia Business School professor Rita McGrath studies innovation, corporate venturing, and entrepreneurship. Most companies sabotage their own innovation processes without meaning to. She noticed five tell-tale signs of this syndrome. I think she describes it in a way that ‘Blue People’ (Jung based, bureaucratic in nature) like. So how do you manage innovation and keep control over your business?
1. Innovation is episodic.
2. Resources are held hostage by incumbent businesses.
3. You’re trying to fit innovation into the structure that you have.
4. Too little diversity of thought; too much isolation from customers’ experience.
5. Treating assumptions like knowledge.
(Read it all on: Five Ways to Ruin Your Innovation Process)
Steve Leybourne from Boston University advised me (among other things) to read the book ‘Rules for Revolutionaries’ written by Apple icon Guy Kawasaki. It made me think of how I can feel as an improvisation actor on stage. Enthusiastic about creating something ‘brilliant’ with the others in my team. Performing without hesitation and contagious for the audience. ‘Don’t worry, be crappy!’
The thin book contains a easy to read story about how to create a successful start-up. It is written to stick with a lot of funny metaphors and without any hesitation how the world turns. This bold way of describing things like ‘death magnet #3: Monkey see what gorilla do’ or ‘Create like a god, command like a king, work as a slave’ is maybe very American, but it is fun to read and I must admit inspiring to dare to make a difference. Don’t think too much about all possible things that can go wrong in an Innovation process. Possible failure is a certainty anyway, so why bother to focus on that. In the Netherlands we would call this arrogant, but I think overenthusiastic would be a better connotation. If you’re not your own beveliever, why would others then be your evangelists?
In this badly taped video, Guy Kawasaki presents the outline of his book. Use it as a radio, and you will be fine.