First Steps Toward Alignment

There are three good concepts to “getting started with innovation” that I want to extract from this book.

First, find a buddy. Everything is easy with help. You want to engage the team around you and eventually get the entire enterprise aligned with the goal of achieving innovation, but a journey of converting a thousand people begins with one. Find a friend.

Side note on getting the organization aligned. Anytime a new system or initiative or whatever is introduced to a group of people, there will be skeptics. This book suggests that if you’re lucky, maybe 20% of people will adopt a new initiative. 70% of people will wait to see if results are achieved or if the new system will actually stick around, at which point they’ll begin changing with additional incentive or motivation. The last 10% of people will never engage. That’s a shocking assessment, but it’s probably accurate. Out of 20 people, you will be lucky to get 4 engaging in your new initiative off the bat. Hilariously accurate in my experience.

Second, there are some common mistakes when effecting change in any organization. The one that these authors key in on is to not get too far ahead of yourself too early. Don’t print T-shirts declaring “innovation is all that matters” and send that email to “all employees” announcing the new initiative. Roll out slow, make small promises, and think incremental growth early on.

Finally, advertise your success. People want to be involved with innovation. People want to see change for the good. Let them see it. Use your new-found vocabulary in meetings and present your ideas using the NABC approach. Politely but forcefully question others when they haven’t considered one of the key elements of a good value proposition. This is a little risky, but you have to put yourself out there, and don’t be afraid to celebrate your successes.