26 ways to unleash innovation right now

To innovate continually and reliably you must , here are 26 strategies to get you started right now.

  1. Encourage dissent. The Brood movie full Without it, ideas will flow in just one direction, from top to bottom. You already have the best marketing resource at your fingertips: your frontline personnel. They interact with your customers everyday and they are much better judges of what customers want and will accept that those who watch from headquarters.
  2. Look where your competitors are not looking. Innovators appear to see farther ahead only because they see farther to the side. They see change coming because they see it already under way in domains their peers are ignoring. Develop a wide angle view of the world. Look for trends or themes that cut across multiple businesses; eventually those trends will show up in your business arena. Because you’ve been paying attention to realms beyond your specific industry, you will be able to coordinate and respond more skillfully to your environment.
  3. Exploit your past heritage. Knowledge of your past anchors your innovation more firmly, allowing you to grow it to greater heights.
  4. Ignore experts. Their know-how works best in familiar situations, but poorly in new territory. The cumulative weight of experience can restrict their perceived options to what they have seen work before. This kills off new ideas before they are given their due.
  5. Question the truth. When everyone believes something, their belief will slow them from copying you. They will leave open a path for you. Prove their truth is wrong.
  6. Look for an unfair system. This is a sing that the system is stuck and will eventually correct itself. You want to already be in a position when that happens, awareness presages opportunity.
  7. Create a more exciting future. This will encourage your followers and discourage your competitors.
  8. Be the second mover, not the first. This lessons is hard to swallow, the early lead rarely lasts.
  9. Be wary of success. It breeds complacency and sometimes arrogance. When your company has won one race, celebrate and then move quickly to a bigger one. Success marks the end of a story and leads us to expect nothing further. Unless you want your story to end, celebrate briefly, then create a new measure of success.
  10. Assemble a dream team. Give them just one job: to think about the future. Choose people from different backgrounds and at different levels, give them the tools they need and then stand back and wait for the magic.
  11. Let people explore radically crazy ideas (manage for creativity). They are the seeds of innovation. Give people the freedom to explore, think, imagine, create. Empower them.
  12. Build creative spaces. People need space to think, create, discuss, collaborate. More often than not great strategies are born over the water cooler than in the boardroom. Do you have “war rooms” where people can brainstorm? If your people wanted to bounce ideas off each other, where would they go?
  13. Hold longer meetings. Short meetings allow insufficient time for deep dialogue, so instead they become reporting sessions. If you want time to play with ideas, to explore options, to test beliefs, hold just a few meetings but make sure they are longer.
  14. Meet in smaller groups. Large groups leave too little “air time” for your discussion to reach any meaningful depth. Everyone in the group feels pressure to contribute, and emerging ideas get trampled as the next person rushes to speak. Allow only three to ten participants in strategy discussions.
  15. Turn everybody in your organization into strategists. If they don’t participate in creating and evaluating your strategy, they will not fully know it, own it or act on it. Take advantage of your frontline managers market know-how by inviting them to participate.
  16. Give your strategy a name that sticks. This helps people understand and align to it. Make it simple, concrete and emotional.
  17. Do not compete. The highest form of competition is to become so unique that no competitors will consider you a threat.
  18. Count your deserters. If innovative people want to leave, you have blocked your innovation cycle somewhere.
  19. Write a legend. Nearly every innovative company has a story that captures, spreads and reminds people of a companywide value critical to continued success.
  20. Pursue the long and short term simultaneously. No initiative can succeed without hard work in both dimensions simultaneously.
  21. Decentralize decision making. Build adaptability and agility into your organization by giving your people greater autonomy to make decisions in a rapidly changing environment.
  22. Run fast and slow. Match your decision cycles to outside change, shorter cycles mean more strategic flexibility.
  23. Invoke a moral purpose. Not only will it make you feel good, but it has a more practical reason as well: it will make you more competitive. By linking your success to a cause others care about, you strengthen the loyalty of your people and customers while you erode the support of your competition.
  24. Be ready for a big change. You cannot predict change but you can learn to recognize it and be prepared to act on it when it surfaces.
  25. Abandon the past. It is an anchor that exists only in your people’s minds. The past repeats itself only if you let it; if you want the future to look different, you should not hold on to how you got here. By retelling the past, drawing out what will help you get to where you want to go and sending to the background whatever is stopping you, you free your people to move forward.
  26. Keep it simple. In most cases, simple thinking overpowers complex analysis. Good ideas originate from the direct experience of an astute individual far more than from the spreadsheets of an expert.

Anything missing? What else would you add?

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