What I Thought I Knew – I Learned At “The Network!”
This past week Steve and I traveled to Boston to attend the inaugural Innovation Leader event, The Network! There were 50 innovators and disruptors from all industries and walks of life. Now, let me be perfectly honest – most in the room were at one-time involved in corporate innovation and frankly got sick of all the red tape and bureaucracy.
Additionally, many of us in the room are in some type of consultant role. I wasn’t sure what to expect – but it turned out to be AWESOME! We met some incredibly cool people and made new friends that in the future, I know we will turn to for their rich knowledge and expert skills.
This story is just one of the many that we heard during the day. I look forward to getting together again. Thank you Innovation Leader!
What We Learned And What You Can Learn…
Innovation Failure – 97% of Executives or CEO’s are unhappy with their innovation work in Corporate America. The discussions in the room that day were rich – so many execs present had experienced failure and felt unhappy. The interesting thing is that FAILURE is at the heart of Innovation. It’s what you do with it that makes the difference in attitude and value. Unfortunately, many of these teams are just doing innovation for innovation sake, instead of tying it to their business goals.
Just recently, I read a blog from Phil McKinney, The CEO Innovation Dilemma. Phil states, that 97% of CEO’s say innovation is important, 73% agree it’s important in their organization, but only 35% are confident their organization can do it. So, what do we do?
Storytelling – What is your desired ending? What is your controlling idea? How Can I Build Empathy? What Is My Innovation Story?
Think about these three things
- Act One: What is the Challenge?
- Act Two: What is the Struggle?
- Act Three: What Changed In The World?
Each of us in this space have a story that connects us to our consumers. Some of them good, some of them not so good. But the bottom-line is that we all have a narrative around our journey and our experiences. Learn how to share your story. People and/or consumers respond with richer engagement and loyalty when they can connect to who you are.
Landscape Scan – At the end of the day at THE NETWORK, we did an exercise to examine the Innovation Landscape, which was led by Dave Rutley and his team from Collective Next. We started with 2017 and looked back 10+ years and forward 10+ years. It was a powerful exercise witnessing the think tank in the room. Here are a couple of quick highlights the group came up with:
- Thought Leadership – The people and influencers we currently look to are shifting, yet we still depend a great deal on the founding leaders of this movement.
- Methodologies – These come and go, but what doesn’t change is there is always a consumer!
- Landscape – Things are moving so fast in the world today that we as innovators are challenged to keep up more than ever before.
What We Can Do And What You Can Do…
This is pretty simple! Keep learning! Keep partnering! Keep exploring! As I stated above, the world is changing at an incredible pace – you must stay ahead of challenges and obstacles so you can continue to INNOVATE!
Take 15 minutes this week. Get out and do something new and different. Challenge yourself to get out of the norm!