Yesterday I spoke at an event organized by Harvard Business Review and EBDICorp in Sao Paulo Brazil to share some of my learnings on this 10 years leading profound transformation in large companies through innovation. I shared 5 mindset shifts needed for a company to become truly innovative:
1) There´s no innovative company. Innovative are the people inside a company. So, it is not a matter of setting up an innovation process, it all about people. An innovative company creates the right environment for innovators to flourish;
2) To innovate is not to take risks, but to manage risks of a world in dramatic transformation full of uncertainties and ambiguity. The risks are already out there, if you are going to look at them as threats or opportunities is strictly on your hands;
3) If you want new ways of doing things, you will need new metrics. The traditional ROI (Return on Investment) models just don´t work for innovation as innovation is so unpredictable. What if we thought of ROL (Return on Learning), instead?
4) What is the reason to exist of your company? A company needs to have a clear vision of which essencial problem it is solving for society and this purpose needs to be clear to all employees of all levels inside the organization. There´s no more space for companies with a vision that their role is only to “sell a product” or “to generate dividends for shareholders”. This vision limits the innovation capability of a company. If Blockbuster understood that they were in the entretainment at home business instead of movie rental, they would possibly be among us today.
5) Empathy, Collaboration and Experimentation: these are the 3 pillars of design:
Empathy because we live in a service society where people don´t want to own a good, they want the benefit and the experience behind that good. Services are consumed at the same time they are produced which make services so dramatic, so the user plays a big role in the success of a service experience. Just create a solution for a customer is not enough, we need to create with the customer.
Collaboration because we need to freedom ourselves from the industrial 19th century mindset of “value chains”. Chains make us prisioners of a process! In the 21st century economy we need to think in terms of Value Networks, a group of partners that aggregate value to one another and together provide the value required by a customer.
Experimentation to explore several different opportunities to fail fast and fail cheap to succeed soon.