Innovation Through New Voices

Gary Hamel . “Strategy Innovation and the Quest for Value.”
Sloan Management Review. Vol. 39, No. 22 (1998). pp. 7–14. suggests that in order to create an environment that thinks and seeks innovation, new ways, practices and methodologies, it needs to create five preconditions in the organization:

  • New voices: Creating an environment in which all can participate and are encouraged to offer insights, ideas, challenges to the status quo.  We are not all located in the same room, leave aside the same building, so this presents a challenge to an organization operating in the virtual environment.
  • New conversations: The development of dialogue at all levels in the organization looking at the known through new lenses. Asking ourselves why and seeking leaner, practices, products and services.
  • New passions: Giving the employees a stake in their future, motivating them to contribute and rewarding them for their inputs.
  • New perspectives: Get the team to look at the known through new lenses.  Perhaps we have simply missed the blazingly obvious.
  • New experiments: We should try new approaches, and if trialled at small-scale, what do we have to lose?  It it does not work, then study the lessons learned and use them in the future.  If it works, consider scaling up.

I have always been of the opinion that real change is simply the accumulation of small change.  Perhaps we need to use Hamel’s approach to create new approaches within our teams, departments and ultimately our organizations.

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