MOST COMPANIES THINK THEY'RE INNOVATIVE
Unearthing the keys to innovation
EP. 11 | THE INNOVATION COOKBOOK
Today’s guest is Scott Kirsner, CEO and co-founder of Innovation Leader, an online resource helping change-makers at large organizations deliver real impact. Scott's organization has interviewed numerous executives, visited innovation labs of all kinds, and chronicled patterns and insights in publications including Wired Magazine, Variety, Fast Company, Variety, and The New York Times.
- Companies face different challenges in innovation depending on an array of factors, including how long they've been around and how large they are. Scott notes that while Amazon's success is driven by both a powerful founder vision and Lab126—its external research and development team.
- Many companies operate under the premise that all of their employees are innovating in some way, which in Scott's experience, has proven to be largely untrue.
- Scott and Andrew discuss the conditions that influence a successful (or unsuccessful) siloed innovation team.
- Disney managed to stay innovative long after its founder era—Scott and Andrew discuss how.
- It's important that companies don't allow product failures to scare them away from their growth trajectory. Innovative organizations learn from what happened and don't operate on fear, and are constantly spinning out new things.
- What big companies can learn from startups is a culture of persistence. Scott's seen startups push forward until every possible resource and opportunity has run dry, while larger companies often give up on endeavors that haven't bore fruit after 18 months or a year.
- When creating an internal innovation team, companies may focus heavily on pulling great talent and getting them the necessary resources to execute on their ideas. But Scott advises that it's equally important for leadership to address the question: who is looking at these ideas to determine if they hold value? With only company insiders evaluating ideas, efforts can fall prey to big company myopia.
- Scott believes in mapping the internal network of employees with ideas who are eager to innovative, but are cut off from the opportunity. Once that group is established, getting them access to resources and time to work on their ideas. He also believes engaging customers and sales teams early on in the development process (before if possible)—an approach few companies take.
- The Vitality Index is a valuable metric for companies looking to become more innovative. It looks at what percentage of revenue is coming from products introduced in the last three years, indicating whether a company is consistent in developing new things.
"It's about talent, it's about technology, and persistence—which is so important for innovation."