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Applied Innovation. © Idea Champions, 2007. Why do you care about inn o vation?. What’s in it for you ? What’s in it for your customers ? What’s in it for your company ?. Obstacles to Innovation

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Applied Innovation

© Idea Champions, 2007


Why do you care about innovation?

What’s in it for you?

What’s in it for your customers?

What’s in it for your company?

Obstacles to Innovation

• Lack of a shared, compelling vision • Lack of ownership by Senior Leaders • Relegated to R&D

• Fear in the workplace • Inelegant tollgate processes • Constantly shifting priorities • Short term thinking • Addiction to data • Old assumptions • Addiction to the status quo • No customer focus

• Internal Politics • Hierarchy • Micromanagement • Workforce workloads • Silo-it-is • Unwillingness to learn from failures • No reward or recognition • Risk aversion • Lack of communication • Poor teamwork • No intrinsic motivation • Under-funding • Physical environment • Lack of spec time • Over-analysis


The Nail Game

All 13 nails must balance simultaneously

Block of wood must remain in an upright position

No nails can touch the block of wood

No nails can be bent or altered

The embedded nail cannot be removed

No props (i.e. rubber band, glue, string etc.)

Everyone on your team must participate

If you’ve done this before, raise your hand

What is the linchpin of success re: creating a culture of innovation within your sphere of influence at BASF?
“How can the Senior Team jump start a culture of innovation within their sphere of influence within the next 90 days.”
reframing the problem
Reframing the Problem

Is the problem statement…

• Simple?

• Penetrating?

• Inspiring?

• Knowable?

• Eloquent?

food for thought

Food for Thought…

Take a deck of Free Genie cards as you exit. Tonight, look through the deck and select the five cards YOU think are the most thought provoking re: BASF creating a sustainable culture of innovation. Keep these cards in your pocket for tomorrow’s session…

what you can expect from today s session
What you can expectfrom today’s session
  • Mindset shift

2. Powerful new ideas to grow your business

3. Insights into creating a culture of innovation

4. Tools & techniques to think outside the box

5. Application of best innovation practices

6. Identification of project champions

the linchpins of basf s innovation journey
The Linchpins of BASF’s Innovation Journey
  • Flexibility
  • Trust
  • Time to think
  • Develop people
  • Common objective
  • Recognition
  • Collaboration
  • • Leadership
  • Open communication
  • Fun
  • Confidence
  • Diversity
  • Egolessness
  • Fearlessness



Genie…Ingenuity… Genius

“Not everything that counts can be counted; and not everything that can be counted counts.”– Albert Einstein


• Analytical

• Linear

• Sequential

• Practical

• Convergent

• Serious

• Detail-oriented


• Intuitive

• Associative

• Flexible

• Imaginative

• Divergent

• Playful

• Wholistic

creating ground rules
Creating Ground Rules

What do you need from each other in order to establish a culture of innovation in this room today?


“You can't just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they'll want something new.” – Steve Jobs

the dna of innovation
The DNA of Innovation




the six drivers of innovation

Model #1: Theresa Amabile

The Six Drivers of Innovation

1. Challenge

2. Freedom

3. Resources

4. Teamwork

5. Supervisory encouragement

6. Organizational support


“Companies are actually living organisms, not machines. We keep bringing in mechanics – when what we need are gardeners.”– Peter Senge

the garden of innovation

Model #2: Mitchell Ditkoff

The Garden of Innovation
  • Whet the appetite
  • Stake the territory
  • Prepare the ground
  • Find (& plant) the seeds
  • Fence the garden
  • Tend the seedlings
  • Thin and weed
  • Harvest
the garden of innovation1
The Garden of Innovation

The Metaphor

  • Whet the appetite
  • Stake the territory
  • Prepare the ground
  • Find (& plant) seeds
  • Fence the garden
  • Tend the seedlings
  • Thin and weed
  • Harvest

The Translation

Get people hungry

Clarify the scope

Remove obstacles

Create (& pitch) ideas

Protect innovators

Coach, support, pilot

Evaluate and select

Go to market


Best Innovation Practices…

Best Innovation Practices

…that you can adapt!


Allow Employees to Shop Ideas Around

At 3Mif an aspiring innovator can’t get support from his own boss, he or she is free to shop the idea around the company to see if anyone else will buy it.


Create In-House Venture Capital

Teradyne, a manufacturer of testing equipment for semiconductor chips, phone networks and software, funds ersatz start-ups in the company for its best ideas. The start-ups report not to a boss but to a Board of Directors. It has venture capital – not a budget.


Let Peers Decide the Funding for Big Ideas

Shellhas appointed an innovation panel of free thinking employees to allocate $20M to game-changing ideas submitted by their peers. They assess what Shell would lose if they pass on the opportunity. Of Shell’s five largest growth initiatives in 1999, four had their beginning in the “Game Changer” initiative.


Make It Easy for Customers to Help You Innovate

Second Life, a thriving virtual community produces less than 1% of its game content. Instead, it gives powerful scripting tools to its customers. Virtually, every character, object and experience in Second Life is created by thousands of enterprising customers who are committed fans and users.


Do Guerilla Research

Second Curve Capital conducts yearly “Branch Hunts.” That’s when all employees meet at NYC’s Chrysler building, are divided into teams, and assigned “avenues.” The goal? To visit every retail bank along that avenue and, armed with $100 bills, open checking accounts at two of them. Later, each team reports their findings, including digital photos, noting customer service and staff morale. Based on their learnings, SCC generates valuable intelligence about where the retail banking market is headed.


Reward Cross-Enterprise Collaboration

Hewlett Packard supports collaboration by allowing employees the freedom to seek help and input for ideas across the enterprise. Employees can even reward people who help them. Managers have “e-Awards” they can give to other units who help them – and an employee, with a manager’s OK, can also give e-Awards to other employees.


Give Employees Time to Follow Their Passions

3M gives employees the freedom to spend up to 15% of their time working on projects not sanctioned by the job they’re in. Google allows 20%.

(Several new Google services were conceived during employee’s 20% “free time.”)


Set Aside Some R&D Budget for Future Hires

Geoff Smith, VP of Business Development at Mitel, puts 10% of the R&D budget aside to fund head count in a “strategic technologies” unit – a group of people whose job it is to look out into the future and experiment with finding the next big breakthrough which won’t contribute to the bottom line today, but might contribute in the future.


Balance Your Innovation Portfolio

Upper Management, at Hewlett Packard, focuses on all aspects of innovation and manages innovation in terms of an “Innovation Portfolio.” The portfolio includes a balance of surefire innovations and more risky ones across various types of projects (I.e. core businesses, emerging and new).


Create Start Up Environments

Corel, makers of Word Perfect software, recreates start up environments. When an employee has a bright idea, he can apply for a two-week pass, along with one or two other people in a “virtual garage” situation to develop the idea. At the end of the two weeks, if the idea continues to look promising, he can apply for another two week pass and so on, as long as the idea keeps looking like a winner.


Create Innovation Slush Funds

Nortel Networks, the fiber optics giant, allocates pools of money (or “innovation slush funds”) at different organizational levels for any idea the manager thinks has great potential, but doesn’t want to be accountable for the bottom-line result.


Raise the Bar for Customer Service

Commerce Bank locations are open 70 - 80 hours a week. They open 15 minutes before and close 15 minutes after their posted hours. Funds from all deposited checks are available the next business day – no questions asked. And when a Commerce Bank customer needs to replace a lost ATM or debit card, the bank teller can make a new one on the spot.



“How can each of us in the room today help BASF employees throughout the organization embrace and establish a sustainable culture of innovation?






“We’ve reached the end of incrementalism. Only those companies that are capable of creating industry revolutions will prosper in the new economy.”– Gary Hamel

want a copy of this powerpoint
Want a copy of this powerpoint?

“Not everything that counts can be counted; and not everything that can be counted, counts.”

– Albert Einstein

“We have approximately 60,000 thoughts in a day. Unfortunately, 95% of them are thoughts we had the day before.”– Deepak Chopra
mitch ditkoff idea champions 845 679 1066 www ideachampions com www ingenuitybank com
Mitch DitkoffIdea