Relentlessness is the main way to drive innovation behaviour according to Disney Corporation. Speaking at the Front-End of Innovation Conference last month, they said:
“to establish, operate and drive innovation, it must become an institutionalised process and [the business] must be relentless”
Disney also promoted the power of small guerilla groups of innovators. These people have no particular turf, pose no threat to others, instead play to their strengths of speed and simplicity. Throw challenges at this group and have them constantly innovate within the business.
The business environment is constantly changing
“In 10 years, 40% of Fortune 500 will no longer exist…” (Cisco Systems, 2017)
Cisco Systems offered six things which are fact in today’s business environment:
- The speed of innovation is accelerating
- Ideas come from anywhere
- The competitive landscape is constantly shifting
- Leaders are confused
- The future is unclear
- Disrupt of be disrupted by others
Storytelling is vital
Storytelling is vital to innovation – instead of presenting the full or complete idea, adopt a ‘swiss cheese’ approach where you tell a story full of holes. Those who are being presented to can them fill in the holes – creating buy-in from the off
Innovation is a tool that everyone can use
“Innovation should never be your objective. Innovation is the tool to help you deliver what the business needs…”
Marty Yudkovitz, previously Head of Strategic Business Innovation at The Walt Disney Company
To engage everyone in innovation, Cisco Systems designed an idea competition which would engage, empower and enable people outside of engineering to provide ideas. There were clear goals, structures and metrics. 6,000 employees put forward ideas, there were 30 semi-finalists and 6 finalists. Three winners were each given money to run their innovation project, three months off their paid job to focus on the project and a cash prize.
Innovation is about getting the job done
We heard from Clayton Christensen, the world’s foremost authority on disruptive innovation, that innovations should answer the question – what job needs to be done. What job is it that your customers need you to do for them? In his session, he argued that ideas are not the most important element of an innovation journey, insight is. If you can identify the dilemma, fulfil the job for a customer, then you will have an 80% success rate in the market.