The digital era needs an innovative culture that can leverage technology to collaborate, build, and scale developments. As a matter of fact, the majority of the organizations thrive on ‘collective intelligence’. In this article at Harvard Business Review, Kate Isaacs and Deborah Ancona share 3 steps to create an innovative culture that collaborates seamlessly.
Introducing Innovative Culture
To keep pace with the new way of doing business, developments should be faster. Companies must attract global talents and utilize their diverse thinking. Below are the 3 steps to create an innovative culture that collaborates seamlessly:
Build Communication Tools: A company with an innovative culture will be ready to accept ideas from all departments. While idea generation is important, ideators need to present them in a strategic way. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) uses Heilmeier Catechism to evaluate research programs. The questions from Heilmeier Catechism are given below:
- What are you trying to do? Articulate your objectives using absolutely no jargon.
- How is it done today, and what are the limits of current practice?
- What is new in your approach and why do you think it will be successful?
- Who cares? If you are successful, what difference will it make?
- What are the risks?
- How much will it cost?
- How long will it take?
- What are the mid-term and final “exams” [that will allow you to measure] success?
W.L. Gore, a materials science company, has created a Product Concept Worksheet as a guideline for all product teams. The one-pager contains a brief summary of the product concept, technology used, product format, and customer requirements teams should address.
Both of these approaches allow individuals or teams to present ideas in a legible manner.
Constantly Evaluate Ideas as a Team: In agile organizations, the senior committee continuously evaluates ideas throughout the year. They review the ideas, refine them, or stop any further development. Only relevant concepts get a nod.
For a successful collective vetting process, follow a common guideline and invite stakeholders with diverse thinking to join the meeting. Then evaluate the ideas further with customers and peers. When you get support, conduct regular reviews with teams across the organization. Your innovative culture comes to life when people talk without inhibition in these sessions. There should be a collective aptitude to reject bad concepts and encourage the good ones.
Challenge the Challenges: The majority of the organizations have a set of rules for leaders to decide funding and resource allocation for projects. In an innovative culture, like NASA, leaders play a supportive role for teams that are closely involved in the development. The job of the leaders is to remove obstacles and provide top resources for teams.
To view the original article in full, visit the following link: https://hbr.org/2019/08/3-ways-to-build-a-culture-of-collaborative-innovation