On Wednesday evening I attended Fujitsu’s ‘Innovation at the sharp end- How can organisations turn good ideas into bottom-line growth?’ Amongst other speakers (namely, David Smith, Fujitsu UK and Ireland CIO & CTO and Mario King, VocaLink CEO), Matt Kingdon of ?WhatIf! gave an engaging presentation on Freeing the radicals: how to manage the innovation challenge. Amongst talk of the need to have a pocket universe, Matt outlined his 5 levers of change. These are worth sharing here:
1. Hunger– your innovation team needs it.
2. Battle-scars– you need the A team because there will be no second chances. They need to be credible, and have a reputation for collaboration. They should be ambitious, but their ego should not be bigger than their ambition.
3. Uncommon connections– should be made between people and things.
4. Shape relentlessly– volume is important.
5. Destroy ‘the way we work around here’– question everything.
(Notes not made verbatim so this summary may differ slightly from what was said.)
Two other points to note from what Matt said; he stressed the importance of getting a result and having a good story (which can be hard as change takes time and commitment), and the necessity to ‘roll up your sleeves and get something done.’ All good points and well explained.
The talk finished with a bit of audience participation. The attendees, all of whom were senior executives, were asked to vote on ‘Do your leaders want innovation?’ These are the results:
66% want innovation but don’t know how to make it happen.
11% want innovation and have a plan.
20% mention it but don’t really mean it.
3% never mention it.
The figures speak for themselves, but it’s worth noting that they indicate that innovation is clearly a popular topic… the barrier comes when trying to convert the fashionable term in to real action and results.