Innovation is anything but fluffy and nice

It seems to be a classic assumption that any company should at least try to establish an innovation strategy. These are 10 of the questions you should ask yourself when doing so.

Kennen Sie Ihr wahres Unternehmenspotenzial?
Zu tief im Tagesgeschäft begraben um Innovation umzusetzen?
Sie möchten mehr Experimentieren und weniger Lamentieren?
Sie benötigen strategische Grundlagen um die Zukunft Ihres Unternehmens nachhaltig gestalten zu können?

Lassen Sie uns gemeinsam eine Reise antreten

Innovation is not fluffy and nice. So beware of pursuing an ‘innovative company culture and strategy’ before knowing what this may entail for you, your employees and partner companies in the long run.

Coffee time while you got water up to your neck?

If you are a CEO It seems all too tempting to decide on a sunny morning that your company should change and finally become a well-oiled innovation machinery. People are suddenly supposed to collaborate across divisional lines and work in interdisciplinary teams with a diversity of T-shaped team members with a multitude of buzzwordy interests. They would have deep understanding of your customers needs and build grand forward-looking products, which will bring immense value to current and future clients and users. Kumbaya!

The machine learning geek with deep knowledge of data and algo handling will understand his users like the back of his hand and spend his free time as a painter, actor and speech writer for a local politician.

He would also happen to have suddenly developed a deep personal connection to your female top sales consultant who performs as a lead dancer in local kinky dance shows and loves to run with her cobber dog in her free time.

Together they would work towards the grand vision of an all-encompassing, all-knowing predictive maintenance platform which will eventually run itself and generate billions in sweet old revenue.

Their team would also consist of a lead product designer who has extensive knowledge in Human Computer Interaction Design, Interface Design and Color Coding. He'd be the type of guy who does not miss one independent new minimal festival and thus spends most of his summers around artificial quarry lakes with strangers.

Well if these were your morning thoughts try it again at lunch time and you may have already corrected your initial thoughts altogether. The first correcting thoughts may trail by when you hear about the latest agitations mentioned by your not so collaborative and T-shaped members over at division C. They have always disliked division A for their proximity to the executive levels and regard any of their photographically documented team activities shared on the company App a declaration of superiority and agitation.

Where am I going with this?

Who are the people that work for your company and how do they tick?

How are you hiring today and why?

Is deep competence and personal excellence something that is a key ingredient of your company culture and HR strategy?

Are people willing, skilled enough and allowed to experiment?

Do your colleagues feel safe yet aware that anyone will confront them in brutal honesty whenever needed?

Are you willing to defend your innovation efforts when hype cycles reach their peak and hard work is all that is left?

Is collaboration enabled yet brought forth not on the backs of a few but the collective and does individual accountability exist?

Do you believe that flat hierarchies require less management attention or more?

Are you willing to lead the way and be rigorously challenged by your peers every day?

If so you should leave your office today head held high and in anticipation of a long-lasting fight. The future starts right now with you.

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