Do you work for an innovative company?

I enjoyed a session at the Global Business Partnership Alliance last week, with a group of leading corporates debating what hinders or helps innovation in their cultures.  Have a look at the list below and see if any of them ring bells for you.  And yes, NESTA was included in the sample!  In order of importance:

  1. Internal communication – overcoming silos.
  2. Allowing failure and eliminating a blame culture.
  3. Allowing anyone to challenge anything.
  4. Developing a positive attitude to change – overcoming fear and complacency.
  5. Developing a positive attitude to risk management.
  6. Empowering people to try new initiatives without explicit approval.
  7. Welcoming ideas from outside the organisation – eliminating ‘not invented here.’
  8. Encouraging new ideas.

Interestingly, those internal walls between silos seem to be a key problem – not something I usually consider as I work in corporate open innovation (COI) where the barriers are external.  I will make a mental note to see if the models am developing for COI work as well in large companies that just need wiring up better across markets or departments. 

For a more complete blog of the event, see Paul Sloane's here (he facilitated). .

In the breakout sessions we were asked to generate some novel ways of approaching these problems and I got quite excited about one of our group's ideas; the idea of a
‘Shadow Board’ which would have the same agenda as the main
board and be tasked to comment/challenge/debate decisions like Her Majesty's Opposition.  This would encourage openness, new ideas and possibly address problems 1, 3 and 8 above!

Any takers?

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