Imagine you’re a business leader with a vision, intent on driving innovation in your organization. You’re also a fan of Jimi Hendrix and love the kind of visions he had:
Purple haze all in my brain
Lately things just don’t seem the same
Actin’ funny, but I don’t know why
‘Scuse me while I kiss the sky
Imagine you’re a business leader with a vision, intent on driving innovation in your organization. You’re also a fan of Jimi Hendrix and love the kind of visions he had.
Here’s what your consultants and management textbooks might tell you to do:
FIRST make a decision on your organization’s innovation strategy. There are after all different types of innovation: breakthrough innovation (creating an entirely new business), business model innovation (profound differentiation in an existing business), continuous improvement (doing lots of things better all the time), product innovation, service innovation, process innovation, customer driven innovation. And so on. What is YOUR innovation all about?
SECOND make a decision on your organization’s desired balance between operational efficiency and innovation. What proportion of your resources (people time and money) goes towards doing what we do today well vs imagining how to do things differently or doing new things?.
THIRD figure out what systems you need deliver the above strategy within your above resource balance. How are you going to innovate?
Jimi Hendrix wouldn’t agree though. Too much rational thinking, not much people power.
So how about you?
Create some purple haze, encourage them to act funny and aim high so they can kiss the sky. In other words appreciate that ALL your people are creative. Recognize that they represent a massive innovation potential that begs to be deployed. Help them develop their creativity, individually and in teams. Create a culture that will allow them to create freely, at any time and in any way they like. Trust that they will do the right thing.
How about blending the textbook approach with Jimi Hendrix? Good luck!
Have a good trip! Yeah
Purple haze all in my eyes
Don’t know if it’s day or night
You’ve got me blowin, blowin my mind
Is it tomorrow or just the end of time?
– Jimi Hendrix
image credit: karencivil.com
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Dimis Michaelides, Managing Director at Performa Consulting, is global business consultant and keynote speaker on The Art of Innovation. His book, The Art of Innovation: Integrating Creativity in Organizations, was published in 2007.