My wife and I sometimes watch sub-titled Japanese dramas. In essence, they are interestingly different from American fare, help me with my Japanese (hope to visit Tokyo sometime next year), and sometimes give us a new reflection on life. We’ve just completed watching Nagi’s Long Vacation, where an office worker collapses on the job under…
Next Time, Really Put Everything Is On The Table. Go There.
The Hope: Your leaders take whatever risks they need to in order to get the job done.
The Reality: Your leaders are risk averse, hoping that their less-than-bold moves trigger some kind of true change.
How many times have you heard, in the midst of a crisis, that “everything is on the table” when in reality, there are very few things on the table? Typically, in my experience, that phrase is only used instead of the blunter “Someone here is going to have to make a sacrifice, and just so you know, it won’t be me”.
Helping Your Innovators Innovate
I was at a conference the other day on innovation and one of the panelists said something very interesting – she said that while innovation itself has been around forever (without innovation we would still be swinging from trees, riding horses, and lugging around suitcase-sized phones) the concept of corporate personnel dedicated to the innovation function, is a recent concept.
How Acquihires Can Hurt Your Business
A number of companies I’ve worked with seem to have a pattern for innovating – instead of looking to build products and services based on the ideas of their own people, they typically scan the market for interesting companies to buy up, and acquihire them into the belly of the beast. I can see why the model seems to work for them, they let the startup founders take the risk, do all the work, gain traction (or at least develop some interesting IP) then give them an offer that they can’t refuse. I’ve seen a ton of companies do through this – Yahoo!, Google, Facebook, all of the major internet companies seem to do this – they seem to want to be innovative by snapping up these companies, instead of innovating internally. Well, maybe in addition to innovating internally, but from both the employee perspective and external company watcher perspective, it seems that they look like they aren’t capable of innovating anymore. This is, of course, untrue: there are plenty of innovators and innovative ideas within these companies. But without a comprehensive innovation program which helps to extract those ideas and reward the innovators, and the drive to take those ideas to market, they never seem to see the light of day.
Your Most Cherished Resource Should Be Your Innovators
One of the most interesting things I came across in creating and running innovation programs and brainstorming sessions at my clients’ was the disconnect on suggested rewards programs between senior management and inventors.