How to succeed as an innovator – without the hype

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was fond of observing that it was more fun to be a pirate than to join the navy.

New book looks at the challenges of being an ‘intrepreneur’ in a large, traditional organisation – follow this link to learn more about this topic.

5 Innovation Myths I Learned From Over 100 Patents

Five myths about innovation that can actually hinder your progress.

Challenge your most basic assumptions first, as they might not end up to be true at all. Keep reading here.

Belonging In The Workplace: A New Approach to Diversity And Inclusivity

Creating an inclusive workplace.

Research shows that people who feel they belong perform better, become more willing to challenge themselves, and are more resilient. Read more here.

Guest Blog: Driving innovation with L&D

Many companies want to establish a culture of innovation, one that encourages flexibility, creativity and supports risk-taking. The benefit? breakthrough products, a superior customer experience and a nimble response to market challenges.

But what is happening in organisations today, and what can HR do – specifically the L&D (learning and development) function – in not only supporting, but also driving, a culture of innovation? The 2019 US L&D Report highlights some of the latest trends that companies are already applying.

Be flexible

The aim of a HR/L&D team is to adjust to continuous organizational changes without compromising either the speed or quality of talent development strategies. An overly-planned L&D program is less likely to adapt with any changes in business strategy, so don’t be afraid to stray from your schedule and remain flexible when business needs a shift. This also means that for innovation to occur, your program needs to tailor itself to the individualized present (and future) need of employees.

Create a safe space for risks and ideas

Innovation happens when employees feel free to take risks without repercussions. Focusing on employees’ individual strengths has been key to creating a culture of innovation. Focusing on strengths creates trust; it creates a safe space to try something and possibly fail, have a conversation about it, and move forward. For many organizations, innovation is a byproduct of their culture that prioritizes relationship-building and trust between employees and managers over learning hard skills.

Having engaged and committed leaders who can encourage this culture is key. It comes as no surprise that leadership and management skills are in high demand at organizations that are leading the innovation charge.

Hand-in-hand with creating an environment where risks can happen without repercussion, encouraging idea-sharing between colleagues on all levels of the organization will also propel innovation. The takeaway? Create programs that allow employees to cultivate their individual strengths while building relationships with others on the team. Where there’s support, there’s innovation – and trust needs to exist between team members for innovation to flourish.

Experiment (and then recalibrate)

Innovation comes from risk-taking. But since there are so many effective mediums and methods to deliver learning in 2019, it’s important to think outside the box and beyond traditional learning – and to never be afraid of recalibrating based on results. It’s vital to carry out evaluations and continuously monitor feedback in order to produce and develop the most innovation-driving programs.

Evaluation and recalibration are at the heart of world-leading innovation initiatives. Through surveys, focus groups, or other evaluations, it’s crucial to determine which programs work, which can be optimized, and which should be scrapped. Even more critical, however, is that you cultivate a working environment where employees can question current processes without repercussion. In a space where there’s mutual trust, reflection can grow into innovation.

Connect L&D and innovation

You could plan great L&D initiatives and hope that it sparks innovation company-wide, or you could be even more proactive. Planning programming around the concept of innovation might include a speaker series with innovators in your industry, a course on design thinking, or hack-a-thons where employees get to take a step back from their daily duties and focus on what could be improved at the company.

Written and Contributed by findcourses.co.uk // EMG – Education Media Group

Want More Innovative Solutions? Start With Empathy

Understanding empathy is directly tied to our ability to understand the value we offer customers and a solution as a whole.

Great new innovations start with a focus on people, as well as understanding of their needs, conditions and challenges. Read full story here on Forbes.

General Motors Chief Talent Officer on Innovation at Scale

Bob Sutton’s nice write up on GM’s Chief Talent Officer about innovation at scale.

“The challenge of injecting innovation into large, staid, and stalled organizations has long vexed leaders, consultants, and academics. The list of failed efforts goes on and on, including Yahoo!, Motorola, Blackberry, Sears, HP, Kodak, RadioShack, and that terrible merger between Chrysler and Mercedes-Benz. Yet there are exceptions. Some tired old companies do turn vibrant. And there are well-told stories about how and why old struggling companies have beat the odds and changed their cultures, practices, and products for the better–although it is important to remember that nothing life is permanent, so such successes are best viewed as temporary and precarious.”

Keep reading here the complete article.

Preserving the founder’s mentality is your core competitive advantage

“Chris Zook is a partner in Bain & Company’s Boston office. He was co-head of the Global Strategy practice for 20 years. His most recent book is The Founder’s Mentality: How to Overcome the Predictable Crises of Growth […]. It addresses the importance of an insurgent mission, frontline obsession and owner’s mindset in tackling scale challenges of overload, stalling and freefall.”

Original article / interview on innovation tips from Chris Zook, Bain partner can be found here.

Four Ways To Face The Challenge Of Disruptive Change

Companies must simultaneously focus on executing their current business and inventing new growth engines. But how can they achieve ambidexterity? These four strategies will help you succeed in fast-moving environments:

* Spend more time at the periphery
* Change the way you approach problems
* Recognize the early warning signs of disruptive change
* Stay grounded while avoiding stagnation

If you want to read the full story – follow this link to the original and complete article on Forbes.