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9 Ways to Maximize Innovation

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Today, the biggest challenge in most organizations is overcoming
the fear of change. This means that most employees have a natural tendency to
prefer killing innovation rather than implementing it because they are afraid
they might fail. But, with failure, often comes innovation.
These fears and how every business can counter this problem
are explored in a book, 'Robert's Rules of Innovation II: The Art of
Implementation,' by Robert F. Brands, who brings years of experience
implementing innovation as the founder of InnovationCoach, with a goal to teach
how to drive a culture of continuous innovation into every work environment. Brands
book is based on the implementation of principles of innovation originally developed by Google by Marissa
Mayer.

Here are the 9 principles of innovation according to Mayer
and Brands:
1.      
Innovation
can come from anywhere.
 Entrepreneurs should look for ideas from
anyone, inside the organization or outside, but the implementation
responsibility is all yours. Startup leadership and survival is all about
execution.
2.      
Focus on
customer needs.
 When innovations are implemented that have value and
acceptance by customers, business success will follow. It also propagates back
inside your company, via happier and more motivated employees, and far outside
as societal advancements.
3.      
Target
factor of 10 improvements
. Many experts feel it is easier to
make something 10 times better than it is to make it 10 percent better. This forces
one to step away from existing assumptions and tools, and lean instead on
creativity and thinking outside the box.
4.      
Let new
technical insights drive products
. Every startup technical team has
unique insights, which should become new innovations. All too often, these
insights are ignored by the company, and developers leave to become
competitors.
5.      
Don't
expect instant perfection
. Too many innovations get caught in analysis
paralysis, and die an expensive death. Perfection is impossible in today's
rapidly changing market, and iterations are part of educating the market as
well as your team.
6.      
Spend 20 percent
of time on innovation.
 Everyone in a company should be encouraged to
spend fully one-fifth of their time pursuing ideas for positive change, even if
it is outside the core job or core mission of the company. This approach works
best if you can focus on hiring change agents, and incentive programs for
innovation.
7.      
Set your
default to sharing.
Information sharing facilitates collaboration and can
bring in as many innovations as are sent out. It also increases market
acceptance of innovations, by allowing concurrent work on integration,
standardization, and support structures outside your company.
8.      
Tolerate
no negativity about failure.
 Stigmas for failing are among the largest
gates to innovation. Failing well to Google means failing fast and failing
cheap, all very positive attributes in today's rapidly changing and highly
competitive world.

9.      
Instill a
purpose.
People think harder if they really believe their innovations will
impact millions of people in a positive way. Work can be more than a job when
it stands for something people care about, and involves giving more than
taking. 

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