Build bridges and connect the dots to foster innovation

I have been reading, experiencing and experimenting a lot with different models related to fostering innovation and it is a fun and fascinating ride so far!

In my past I have always been searching for models, systems and practices that supported me in leading people, get the best out of them and produce results within the context of an enterprise organization. This quest provided me with a huge load of very useable and amazing learnings that brought me a long way ahead, but I still feel there are gaps to be filled! As there will always be gaps to be filled, change is on steroids isn’t it?

Even though I experimented already a lot with different models to foster innovation, I felt one of those gaps was to find a descent, somehow controllable environment, that is suitable to foster innovation in larger corporations.

It is this gap that is starting to reveil itself recently! As I get more and more involved with the activities of my partners in the domain of (lean) startups and experience how things are done by those (mostly) young entrepreneurs, I also started to connect the dots and strongly believe this is the bridge I was looking for. Startups are the fast track innovators out there and it is that culture and opportunity one has to bring inside the larger corporations to survive. My friend and influencer, Jurgen Appelo, already mentioned somewhere that organizations should care about innovation to survice in this rapidly changing world, innovation requires creativity and creativity is coming from intrinsic motivation. It is this intrinsic motivation that is driving startups all around the world and I’m convinced a similar kind of motivation for entrepreneurship exists in large corporations. The trick will be to tap on this motivational entrepreneurship in an organization and setup a structure to enrich it towards results. In other words: become a business angel for your own employees and provide them with similar mentoring as startups enjoy these days!

Each leader, CxO or other decision maker within a enterprise organization caring for innovation should reach out to the startup community and learn from it to foster corporate innovation. This is a bridge most people do not have the luck to experience as I did. I hope this little piece of information and the many interesting references below will help organization around to cross the chasm.

A kickstart might come from our “Catch and innovate with your next customer” training that is based on our learnings from startups as well as enterprise organizations.

A couple of my tweets (before May 12th, 2012) that can help you move on:

Dave McClure – #Startup #Metrics for Pirates:#AARRR! – I: #storylines

RT @HarvardBiz – Why We Can’t See What’s Right in Front of Us – Tony McCaffrey – Harvard Business Review:

You do not need to be the 1st! All great ideas are second hand anyhow… #startup #innovation

Are You Solving a Puzzle or a Mystery in your #innovation project or structure? #leadership #startup

A/B Revolution | A/B Testing goes beyond validating titles and marketing campaigns! #startups #abtesting #lean

How to Turn Website Visitors into Customers for Your Creative Business #AARRR #CustDev #Startups

Business Models do not last for a long time anymore! Why? #leadership #startups #businessmodel

Great #Innovators Solve #Important #Problems and are less looking for “new” things #leadership #innovation#startup

Rule-breaking “mavericks” are a lot of trouble, but worth it for the creative energy they bring, says a new study:

Great to know about this: Radical #Innovation (Uni Cambridge paper) – #leadership #creativity

Your Best #Creative Time Is Not When You Think! @sciam

And many more tweets and articles will follow while discovering more interesting knowledge related to the subject. Stay tuned.

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About the author:

Jurgen De Smet is an Lean & Agile Trainer, living in Kortrijk, Belgium and working worldwide.
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