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12 Days of Innovation: May You Stay Inspired in 2014!

The season of eggnog and ugly sweater parties is here… threatening to slow momentum for even the most dedicated and business minded among us.  To keep you on your toes this holiday, Robert’s Rules of Innovation has come up with another fun jingle. Welcome to the 12 days of Innovation, inspired by this year’s Chief Innovation Officer Summit in New York City, and the 10 imperatives of Robert’s Rules of Innovation.

12 Days of Innovation: May You Stay Inspired in 2014!The summit, organized by Innovation Enterprise, brings together panelists from some of the most innovative companies such as Pfizer, Disney, Sony, and NASA to discuss innovation best practices, metrics, and breakthrough strategies. Without further a ‘do…

On the 1st day of Innovation, my true love brought to me:

  • A message from the Dean of Innovation (at Gap).

Although he has trained over 250 employees to be global innovators, Michael Perman also knows that not everyone in a large corporation is cut out to innovate: “Not everyone is built that way, any more than everyone should be an accountant.” Training and coaching is imperative to innovation.

On the 2nd day of innovation, my true love brought to me:

  • A message from the Chief Innovation Officer (at Clorox).

“Innovation is inherently inconsistent.” – Wayne Delker

It is important to learn from both your successes and failures, and to diversify your innovation teams. For example, bring together R&D, Marketing, and Design teams, and break down silos.

On the 3rd day of innovation, my true love brought to me:

  • A message from the Chief Innovation Officer (at World Bank)

Individual empowerment is a necessity for innovation. In order to innovate on a global scale, there is no single CIO. “The people in the field need to innovate,” says Chris Vein.  Innovation needs ownership, a champion within the organization. The champion must empower others to take calculated risks and at times work outside of their comfort zone.

On the 4th day of innovation, my true love brought to me:

  • A message from the Chief Innovation Officer (at Imaginatik).

“It`s not the strongest or the most intelligent that will survive, but those who can best manage change” – Luis Solis. Make innovation imperative, show the impact of innovation, invest in people, and secure institutional trust.

On the 5th day of innovation, my true love brought to me:

  • A message from the Chief Knowledge Officer (of NASA).

“When we are really clear on the dream, good things happen” – Dr. Ed Hoffman. People work well if they have both the freedom to do so, and the resources. When they fail, it’s usually because they weren’t given the freedom to succeed. Without risk, there can be no innovation. Never be afraid to fail.

On the 6th day of innovation, my true love brought to me:

  • A message from the Director of Innovation (of AstraZeneca).

When teaching innovation, “We have to teach people to swim and sometimes that means we have to get in the water,” says Scott Wilkins. Focus on soft skills and training. Teach people to respond and not react by minimizing fight & flight behaviors. Proper training and coaching ensures a strong innovation culture and strategy.

On the 7th day of innovation, my true love brought to me:

  • A message from the Senior Director of Emerging Technology (of Thompson Reuters).

“Sometimes have to be able to define new metrics, versus using established ones in order to recognize innovation value.” – Mona Vernon. What gets measured gets done. When creating innovation, it is vital to set metric goals and track these metrics.

On the 8th day of innovation, my true love brought to me:

  • A message from the Director of Business Innovation (of InnoCentive).

“When you create a good challenge, you create a catalyst to drive innovation.” – Steve Domeck, InnoCentive. Effective training and coaching is one of the pillars of success to any sustainable Innovation program.

On the 9th day of innovation, my true love brought to me:

  • A message from the Chief Innovation Officer (of Boston Children’s Hospital).

“We aren’t a group of superstar innovators. We are about facilitating innovation.  My team isn’t made up of innovation superstars. We facilitate innovation in the organization. We’re ‘dream Sherpa’s’”.

On the 10th day of innovation, my true love brought to me:

  • A message from the President (of Stativity).

“We must unleash innovation across the board, every single time,” says Lior Arussey. You are competing against every positive experience your customer has ever had. It’s a new world and the customer experience has to be “wow”. It’s all or nothing. The key to optimizing sustainable Innovation programs is value creation. The customer/consumer value proposition is the goal to ultimately gain a financial payback.

On the 11th day of innovation, my true love brought to me:

  • A message from the SVP, Strategic Business Innovation (of Walt Disney).

According to Marty Yudkovitz, “Innovation is a top-down process”. Make the CEO your champion.  Robert’s rules of Innovation echo this… Innovation and ideation is pointless without buy-in and support from top management. The leader of your New Product Development effort, your Innovation SWAT team, has to inspire, lead and drive the process.

On the 12th day of innovation, my true love brought to me:

  • A message from the Chief Innovation Officer (of Lockheed Martin).

“We work with our customers to define our joint strategy,” says Bill Smith. Innovation Best Practice Alert: Make sure your customer is full participant in the development process. Mark Payne of Fahrenheit 212 touched on the same topic recommending building innovation at the intersection of consumer insight and commercial insight.