I highly recommend mapping your organization or community genome. Understanding the basic genetic code or wiring of any organization is key to understanding what drives the behavior of both internal and external stakeholders. Intimate knowledge of the genome’s chromosomal makeup is a prerequisite for alignment and making meaningful progress. It explains why employees, customers, and collaborators are attracted to an organization or why they aren’t. Passion for an organization, community, or movement is coded at the genetic level. If you want to transform an organization or a system, forget process reengineering and think genetic reengineering. If you want to launch a movement make your genome transparent and accessible to anyone with a similar genetic make-up.
I offer up the BIF genome as an example and with the hope you will improve it. The Business Innovation Factory (BIF) is catalyzing a movement to transform the next decade. This is no time to think small! Together with a growing community of passionate innovators we are re-imagining the future of education, health care, energy, and entrepreneurship. We have identified and mapped 11 chromosomes that comprise the genome of the BIF innovation community and transformation movement. Do they resonate with you? Do you share a similar genetic make-up? If yes, do we have a movement for you!
BIF Innovation Community Genome
1. Off the whiteboard and into the real world. Experiment all the time.
Work fast, make mistakes, push into territories of the unknown.Taking risks is an essential part of innovation. Exceed your own expectations.
2. Business model innovation is itself a creative act.
Design better ways to create, deliver, and capture value. Tweaking won’t work. Transformation is about new business models and systems.
3. Stories can change the world.
Storytelling is magic. Share compelling stories to create stronger emotional connections and purposeful networks.
4. Catalyze something bigger than yourself.
Self-organizing communities are gaining power. Develop a new type of operating culture that leads by letting go. You are participating in a movement that is bigger than yourself.
5. Make systems level thinking sexy.
You are choosing a path that can be complex, nerdy, difficult, and trying. Make it an adventure of epic proportions. Systems thinking is the new cool.
6. We can design our future. Be tomorrow.
Be a market maker rather than a share taker. Own the space of the immediate future.
7. Enable random collisions of unusual suspects. Gather often.
Live the lifestyle of a movement. Gather in many locations. Gather digitally. Gather across boundaries, disciplines, and sectors.
8. Collaborative innovation is our mantra.
Never under estimate the power of doing work in the real world with a network of collaborators motivated by the audacity to change everything.
9. It’s a user-centered world. Design for it.
Transforming social systems starts by putting the voice and experience of the end user at the heart of the innovation conversation and process.
10. Be inspiration accelerators.
There is an art to inspiring people. It happens less and less in a world of apathy. Inspire. Inspire many. But inspire toward the end game: transformation
11. A decade is an awfully short time to waste.
We’re committed to transformational change. We hold ourselves accountable for making headway. There is real urgency. 87,600 hours to go. What are we waiting for?
The BIF Innovation Community Genome codes for our day-to-day innovation activities and what we lay awake at night and think about. It codes for who we are and what we do. We connect innovators. We inspire a better future. We transform social systems. Our genome gives us the confidence to be bold because these times call for boldness and a sense of urgency. Our genome gives us the courage to make a clarion call to all innovators who want to engage in a movement to transform the next decade.
We believe our vital social systems are broken. We must do better.
We believe in transformation, not tweaks.
We innovate business models and systems.
We experiment in the real world.
We are designing the next decade.
Saul Kaplan is the Founder and Chief Catalyst of the Business Innovation Factory (BIF). Saul shares innovation musings on his blog at It’s Saul Connected and on Twitter at @skap5.