Inciting to act – How to make real change happen

“Our biggest innovation issue is our culture – we’re so risk averse, we’re so slow to act – how do we change our culture?”

We often hear this refrain in large organizations. Fundamentally, innovation is about change … change in the products we offer, the way we do things, and ultimately, yes, the culture of our organization.

If you’re an innovator in a large company, chances are you’ve run into the “pain” of change. That pain comes from:

  • A lack of alignment around what innovation means within the organization
  • Finding the next big thing while delivering this quarter’s results
  • Frustrated part-time innovation heroes having little formal support
  • Having a lot of great ideas, but no process to select and implement the best ideas
  • The natural collision between risk aversion and trying new things

There’s real value to overcoming the pain and getting innovation right. Innovation offers:

  • Access to and retention of the best talent in your industry
  • A premium in the stock market for being an innovative industry leader
  • Customers who become fanatics of your company
  • A strong company with the ability to thrive during rapid market change

With this much at stake, it pays for leaders to successfully lead change. One popular model for effecting this change was developed by Dr. John Kotter, a frequent contributor to Harvard Business Review and Harvard Business School professor who has written 18 books on change and leadership.

Over the next week we will look at Kotter’s Eight-Step Change Model and see how it can improve the ways in which innovation leaders approach culture change.

Next in this series: Step 1: Increase Urgency

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