Innovation leaders need an eye to the long view but an ear to the ground

There is a perfect mix of archetypes to lead a collaborative innovation effort: focus as in the market mindfulness of a entrepreneur and drive as in the motivation of a technical pioneer.  Mr. Bathiche exemplifies this rare personality as discussed in the article on Fast Company.  He is a self-selecting, hands-on innovation leader who stepped forward to show the value that could be produced by staged experimentation. Truly an inspirational tech leader, he boldly deflected critical examination from those who are only rewarded to look at the short term financial gains. Here’s some important considerations when establishing similar groups within a larger organization:

  1. Innovation leaders self-select, no appointments necessary.
  2. Stage every project within a managed portfolio.
  3. Target under-served customer needs.
  4. Frame failure as having an as yet unrealized return on investment.

Innovation groups can be managed with success as the history of the Applied Sciences Group at Microsoft confirms.  But, frankly, their model highlights the deficiencies of most large organizations when attempting to stimulate the level of engagement required to attract and retain top performers (a topic for another time).

Inspired by: From Surface Keyboards to Teddy Bear Robots via Fast Company

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Posted in Innovation Management
One comment on “Innovation leaders need an eye to the long view but an ear to the ground
  1. […] brings additional deterrents into play. Both organizational culture and career experiences feed status quo bias.  Departments and individuals drive each other toward group acceptance. Departments and […]

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