1. All you need to Know
Developing a Culture of Innovation
Cameron Lindsay, Jordan Gassaway, Connor See, Mason Allen
Four Phases of Innovation
Where to start
3. ● Transparency
○ The goal is for all employees to feel they know the thinking, responsibilities, and strategy at
various levels of the company and can share ideas and feedback no matter who they are.
○ Employees should be aware of what their coworkers are working on. They should be able to
provide relevant feedback and support as drawn upon.
● Time to disconnect
○ It’s important to understand that sometimes life will get in the way of business and everyone
should be allowed to take care of pressing personal matters.
○ In our digital age, time should be dedicated (especially in meetings) to not use technology, or
to step away from our emails and tasks for the day to focus on the topic at hand.
● Empowerment and sense of freedom
○ You empower people by not micromanaging, erring on the side of giving people general
guidelines rather than explicit, detailed directions.
4. ● Talking to customers and employees
○ Communication with customers provides outsider look on how to go about things, and
communication with employees, especially without an agenda, to simply touch base with
○ You can show through your communication your desire to be as supportive and helpful as
possible to the customers, enabling the two companies to work synergistically.
● Your organizational design
○ This will include your communication, company policies, team building, performance
indicators, performance evaluations, division of responsibilities, and even how you schedule,
and run, meetings.
● Physical Space
○ It’s important to consider the comfort level of your employees before you decide how to lay
out space or what type of office space to lease.
6. Stage 1: Idea generation
Once a problem is defined, the first step in innovation is idea generation.
● Most importantly, create an environment free of criticism in order to foster
high outputs of new, different, and often outlandish ideas. Ideas are free and
the easiest way to get quality is ample practice.
● Establish a space as a highly social environment where ideas of others are
used as a catalyst to develop more elaborate ideas and spin off schemes, and
getting multiple perspectives.
● implement theories such as, brainstorming, listing the most desirable
characteristics in a solution (wishful thinking), tweaking existing solutions,
forcing connections to existing situations, using visual cues and physical
7. IDEO and idea generation.
IDEO is a company that focuses on coming up with new and
improved ways to overcome old problems.
Example: changing Ford from Automobile manufacturer to mobility
IDEO utilizes brainstorming and an environment of
non judgement to encourage output of as many
ideas as possible, then combines and refines ideas
until they find the best one.
8. Stage 2: Idea Elaboration
● The key to elaboration is in the support aspect of a culture
● With the help of others, we evaluate the risks, potentials, and possible
outcomes of the idea and begin to clarify and develop the same
● Feedback from others is critical to refining and helping grow the idea
● After the idea has been refined, elaboration and brainstorming to the point of
providing more detail and specifics by the person should then lead to the
open sharing of this idea with others who can help elaborate even more.
● The goal of this stage is to achieve a detailed description of the idea
9. Amazon and Elaboration
● Amazon is not fixated on any
specific sort of idea. All is welcome,
promoting idea growth
● Amazon is all about experimenting
with new possibility.
● Networking one thing with another
within the company (i.e. a phone that connects with a computer), is not
within the goals of amazon. Start-ups are the goal. This allows freedom of
innovation. Employees and associate businesses know they will have the
support of amazon with any good idea
10. Stage 3: Idea Championing
● The success of this phase relies heavily on your social connections
● The Creator need not be the Champion, in fact, usually the Champion is a
close friend or acquaintance of the Creator
● Championing is the recruiting of individuals to the end goal of the creator
● The Champion of the idea should be well aware of “structural holes” or places
where the idea can fill
● The Champion adds legitimacy to the idea by showing how the idea fills the
11. Idea Championing at Apple
○ Excellent idea Champion
○ Showed his company (and world by
extension) the need for a iPhone
○ He had multiple connections. He was
very smart and competent, however he
knew more about the people he needed
for the project
○ He gathered the right people for the job,
and inspired them to create a world
12. Stage 4: Implementation
● After an Idea has been championed and is given the green light it must be
implemented. This happens in two substages
○ Production - idea is turned into something tangible
○ Impact - innovation is accepted, recognized, and utilized
● Needs during this stage are coordination and shared vision.
● Typically creator will need to rely on the skills of others to bring their idea to
13. Implementation at 3M
● Teams are transient, disbanded when goals
● Teams have charters
● Teams are interdisciplinary but don’t cover
● Hierarchies are flexible
● Teams set their own rewards and spell out
when managers will intervene
● Teams can develop “auto networks” for
handling critical issues quickly
● Team performance is reviewed by objective
15. Where do you start?
Some questions to ponder
Do you perceive your company as innovative?
○ Would collected data suggest that you are?
Do your employees enjoy their working conditions?
○ What do they like or dislike?
How many of your employees could recite your company goals?
○ Are company goals a focus of every company meeting?
Is teamwork a focus?
○ How are teams managed?
16. Develop a Problem Statement
What is the greatest hindrance to your company becoming a great company?
○ What is a great company?
Guides for Selecting a Problem Statement
○ Your problem statement should be as concise as possible, while still addressing the issue
○ Make sure you don’t make your problem statement with a solution in mind
○ Petition the ideas of several people, seek for a diverse group to present ideas
○ Develop the statement with customers in mind
○ Clear language should be used, with a direct, honest addressal of the problem
Take a minute to yourself now and think for yourself about something within your
● When brainstorming, look for as many ideas as possible
● Avoid group-think by reducing pressure and leveling the playing ground
● Give participants notice so that they can be relaxed, and bring their best ideas
● After brainstorming for a predetermined amount of time, pick a few key
points with as much of a consensus as possible
● Move forward with the selected ideas, build upon them
19. Rinse and Repeat
You’ve thought and you’ve worked on identifying these problems and possible
solutions. Now take these to coworkers, employees, and customers and
implement the things you’ve learned. It’s your turn to teach.
Spend time with each new employee establishing expectations. You don’t want to
have to reinvent the wheel again, you’ve already done this much work to get it
Stay positive, and reinforce company goals in every meeting you can. Make sure
each and every employee has the vision.