7 Laws of Innovation and Benefitting from Coaching Insights

Laws of Innovation

Why do some organizations have better innovation than others?  Over the years I have collected what I call the “7 Immutable Laws of Innovation.”  No single organization could be successful in all of these laws but there are always opportunities to improve.  Let’s get started with the laws of Innovation.

Laws of Innovation

 

  1. Law of Leadership.
    1. Leadership sets the tone of the organization. This includes the:
      1. Board of Directors and CEO
      2. Direct Reports (other C-levels, Vice President’s, Directors)
    2. Leadership must be at the front walking the walk and talking the talk.
  2. Law of Culture.
    1. “Culture eats strategy for lunch.”
    2. Create a culture of innovation to support a strategy of innovation.
    3. Culture has to:
      1. Involve people.
      2. Value ideas.
    4. All the resources need to be aligned.
    5. Communication needs to be clear.
  3. Law of Resources.
    1. This requires a committed level of resources to include people, money, time and equipment.
    2. Must effectively allocate and protect your resources.
  4. Law of Patience.
    1. Patience is critical for innovation.
    2. Management needs to have patience. Some innovation projects can take longer than twenty years to be completed.
  5. Law of Process.
    1. You can apply somebody else’s process, but you need to adapt the process to your organization.
    2. Needs to cover the full innovation chain.
      1. How you capture ideas.
      2. How you generate better ideas.
      3. How you identify the best ideas.
      4. How you execute those ideas.
    3. Never let your innovation process become stagnant.
  1. Law of the BHAG. (Bold, Hairy, Audacious, Goal).
    1. Unique characteristics of BHAG.
      1. Very clear and concise of what the target is.
      2. Needs to be a stretch.
    2. Let the process of innovation within your organization define the how.
  2. Law of Execution.
    1. Execution is the task of going through and putting a product out there for customers.
    2. Ideas without execution are a hobby.
    3. Think about segmenting the execution into phases.
      1. You will be able to kill projects that are not going to be successful.
      2. Allows you to reduce your risks.
      3. The objective is to actually execute, not review.
RELATED:   No Limits to Innovation and Creativity S14 Ep21

Not all organizations will be in a position to be successful in all of these laws.  Think about each of these laws and rank your organization.  Be honest with yourself on the areas you need to improve upon.  You can see our Organization’s Innovation Readiness survey based on the 7 Laws to assess and benchmark.

Five Questions to Ask an Innovation Consultant 

Have you noticed that the market is being flooded with a new type of consultant?  These people have branded themselves innovation consultants.  My advice to organizations is to treat consultants with a little bit of caution; they should be one of many inputs in the innovation process.  Do not discount the inside experts you already have within your organization.  There are five questions you should ask every innovation consultant.

  1. What innovations have you come up with and delivered to the market?
    1. Emphasis on them, not past clients.
    2. Weeds out the people who teach versus the people who do.
  2. What approach did you use?
    1. How did you deliver that to the marketplace?
    2. Why did you use that approach?
    3. What are the benefits versus using other approaches?
    4. How many firms are using the approach you came up with?
    5. When was the last time you innovated the approach?
  3. What were the lessons learned?
    1. What would you do differently?
  4. What innovations are you working on now?
  5. How do you personally stay innovative?

I have framed these questions specifically for people looking to hire innovation consultants, but some of you are innovation consultants looking to get hired. How would you answer these questions for yourself? And how can you improve your answers?  Consultants are needed and critical, but you need to make sure you are getting real expertise in this field.  

RELATED:   What Are Your Most Pressing Questions on Innovation? S12 Ep9

The MacGyver Method Creative Challenge

Based on the popularity of the last podcast’s creativity challenge, I have decided to present another one in this week’s show.  This creative challenge is called the MacGyver or the Apollo 13.  With this method:

  1. You are given a problem or objective.
  2. You open your purse, briefcase, or desk drawer.
  3. Use only the items you have.
  4. Create as many ideas within twenty minutes.

For this exercise, you get to work and realize you forgot to get a gift for a co-workers upcoming wedding.  You are given the tasks of creating or buying a gift with only the items within your reach.  For each idea:

  1. The idea must have a practical use.
  2. The idea must be made from two or more items you have on your desk.

I hope today’s show inspired you to look more in depth into the 7 Immutable Laws of Innovation and to see how it is applied in your organization and can be optimized.  Remember an innovation coach can be very impactful and help exceed outcomes, but you do need to be careful in choosing one.  Look for real experience and proof points, not just theory.  If you have questions or comments on this week’s show, I’d love to hear from you.  You can also carry on the conversation with other innovators at The Innovators Community.

To learn more about the laws of innovation and coaching insights, listen to this week's show: 7 Laws of Innovation and Benefitting from Coaching Insights.

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