Culture & Values

7 Reasons Why Your Firm Can't Innovate


I was meeting with a group that is interested in fostering innovation in the state where I live and we were talking about the reasons why organizations don’t innovate. We talked about the lack of strategy and cultural barriers and a number of other reasons. There are hosts of very smart people writing books and research papers on this very ...

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Building a Culture of Innovation From the Inside Out

A Kaiser Permanente Perspective by Jennifer Ruzek Liebermann (via THCB) “How do you inspire and enable innovation in a large organization?” That’s the question I grapple with daily as director of Kaiser Permanente’s health care innovation center. I’ve observed that it isn’t sufficient to have a dedicated Innovation Center, an Innovation & Advanced Technology Group, or in-house Innovation Consultancy design ...

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Importance of Change and Stakeholder Management

I have seen it happen over and over again: innovation project teams wanting to introduce innovation processes without working change and stakeholder management. People either “just forget” or think they move faster when they don’t involve a wider audience. They might in the beginning, but this attitude might backfire quite badly when trying to “push” the new processes into practice. ...

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Rethinking the Role of a Manager


The root of the word “manager” comes from the same root as the words “manipulate” and “maneuver”, meaning to “adapt or change something to suit one’s purpose”. Although these words may carry a pejorative meaning, there is nothing inherently wrong with them. Indeed, into each life a little manipulation and maneuvering must fall. For example, if the door to your ...

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Taking the NO out of InNOvation


10 NO’s Blocking Business Innovation by Mike Brown From experience and ongoing research, there are fairly common situations Blocking Business Innovation across companies. No business has all of them, but the presence of just a couple of them will scuttle the most modest dreams of bringing new possibilities to life to benefit others. None of these NO’s are insurmountable, so ...

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Culture Doesn't Trump Strategy


I was checking Twitter yesterday while getting ready to board my flight when a quote attributed to @zappos (Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos) came across my timeline. It read “Culture Trumps Strategy.” I did a double-take on this as it just didn’t resonate with me. Then my timeline started to get peppered with Retweets of this quote from some very ...

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Realistic Impossibilities


Being on the wrong end of the continuum between realistic and impossible is what plagues many of today’s large multi-national corporations. The fear of failure by employees who are only partially engaged and don’t entirely feel like valued members of the team, will always translate into goals and ideas that are mediocre and achievable and never ones that are innovative ...

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Creating Conditions for an Innovation Culture


I’ve been thinking a lot lately about “creating a culture of innovation”, which is what a lot of firms suggest they want to do. Of course this is a very lofty goal. Changing a corporate culture doesn’t happen easily, and it certainly doesn’t happen overnight. Yet clearly one of the most significant barriers to innovation is the entrenched culture of ...

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Identifying the Innovators in your Firm


Thanks to Twitter, much of my research is done for me. I found a story linked on Twitter about the key innovation characteristics of leaders in innovative firms. That article was published by HBR. The five attributes the authors identified as relevant for innovation are: associating (making connections across unrelated ideas or problems), questioning (especially focused on “what if” or ...

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