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How to Innovate Like a Startup

Small And Innovative

Large corporations seem to lose their ability to innovate, something that they could do when they were small and nimble.

These big companies buy smaller companies, who are innovative despite struggling and being low on resources and finances.

Innovation, it seems, requires constraints and struggle.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

How to Innovate Like a Startup

How to Innovate Like a Startup

https://www.inc.com/simon-sinek/the-secret-to-sustainable-innovation.html

inc.com

4

Key Ideas

Small And Innovative

Large corporations seem to lose their ability to innovate, something that they could do when they were small and nimble.

These big companies buy smaller companies, who are innovative despite struggling and being low on resources and finances.

Innovation, it seems, requires constraints and struggle.

Limited Resources

Struggling with limited resources is a good formula for small companies, but is not easy to replicate in large corporations.

Innovation comes when companies are not focused on new ways to sell old successful products by re-marketing or repackaging them but to invent new products and compete in new industries.

A Do Or Die Situation

Human beings as a species are not built for abundance and paradoxically achieve peak productivity with constraints and limited resources.

There is no 'circle of safety' in small companies, and survival is a very real concern. This makes the people pull themselves together and out-think their problems, succeeding by effort, not by financial resources.

Abundance Hinders Innovation

If resources are greater than the problem, that very abundance works against innovation.

If leaders of large companies wish to innovate, they must ensure that the challenges, dangers, and opportunities to innovate exist in the organization. They need to provide their people with something to believe in, a purpose beyond just profitability or quarterly earnings. 

If employees have the right vision and the right challenge, they will start to innovate and advance the company, even changing the industry.

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McKnight’s 15-percent-time rule

This allows employees to spend 15 % of their paid work time daydreaming, doodling or experimenting with ideas that don’t necessarily have to do with their work at the company.

This kind of daydreaming is the genesis of invention and fosters passion for one’s work.

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5. Read For Immediate Rewards

Studies show that there’s correlation between human behavior change and immediate rewards. Receiving immediate rewards releases dopamine in our brains, which compels us to seek more of the a...

4. Use Triggers to Your Advantage

We often start habits and drop them a few days later. To combat this, you can use triggers to remind you to practice the habit. Examples of triggers:

  • Reading at the same time everyday will prime your brain to automatically trigger itself to begin reading.
  • Leaving your books in places you will easily see is another trigger. If you read books digitally you could pin your tab so it’s always in your visual perspective.
3. Stop Before You’re Finished

Studies indicate that the Zeigarnik Effect is real. It says you are more likely to recall uncompleted tasks than completed ones.

Knowing this pattern of our brains, we can trick it by forcing cliffhangers when we’re reading books. It’s hard to stop reading in the most interesting part but it will make you want to start reading again.

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The Conscience of an Organization

Certain organizations have the capacity to transform themselves, if the leader who is in charge, has the vision and the will for it.

It's not very often that short-term profitability and a se...

The Power of One

A leader with clarity of conscience and a readiness to speak up can make a difference, and contribute to the greater good of humanity.

Cultural change can be made possible even if a middle-level or lower-level manager puts together a radical vision and gathers momentum from his peers.

Sequential skill development

Taking challenges continuously, big or small, contributes to your 'challenge taking' skill-building, preparing you for bigger milestones in the future.

The skills that are built, eventually operate in different areas, sometimes in unplanned and unanticipated situations. 

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Small Thinking And Big Thinking

Companies, teams and individual achievers are sharply focused on achieving goals. But this focus on completion often limits the scope of the results and stifles innovation.

There is a ...

Create Specified Time For Thinking

Set aside time to tackle a problem and then use the entire time. Don't head for the door after the first good idea, as there may be bigger and better ideas to come.

Encourage Outside Learning

Bring facilitation techniques to encourage participation.

By giving team members time and resources to grow, learn, and explore you get a better quality and wider brainstorming. 

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Organizational Health

According to a decade long research, the health of an organization is based on alignment with a robust strategy, deep-rooted culture, and a clarity of vision.

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Better Health = Better Performance

Extensive Data studies have found a link between the health of an organization and its performance.

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The Four Organizational Recipes

Companies aligned with one of these four organizational recipes are more likely to be healthy and to deliver strong, sustained performance than those following random management styles:

  • Leader Driven
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Lack of innovation in larger corporations
  • As companies start to grow, they often experience a downturn in innovation as management layers increase. 
  • Many larger corporations are now attempting to harvest the suc...
3 performance management must haves
  1. Risk-taking. Create a culture in which risk-taking is encouraged. Fear of failure is one of the most common inhibitors of innovation. 
  2. Increase learning agility. People with a high learning agility are able to take feedback and adjust strategies accordingly, without becoming discouraged. 
  3. Creating cross-functional teams. Organise teams with different skill sets together on an ad hoc basis to tackle particular projects. It creates a smaller pool of decision-makers and allows the team to benefit from cross-departmental knowledge.
Constraints vs Obstacles

Constraints are viewed as obstacles. The common wisdom regarding obstacles suggests that we have to remove all constraints.

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Embracing Constraints

New research suggests that managers can innovate better by embracing and working with constraints, instead of viewing them as a hindrance to innovation.

The Mind Needs A Challenge

When there are no challenges in the creative process, complacency comes in, and people tend to go for the most intuitive and easy ideas rather than investing in the development of better but difficult to implement ideas.

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Hackathon

A hackathon is an intensive, often software-centric, ideation, prototyping and presentation challenge on known or unknown problems or opportunities.

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Some Benefits Of A Hackathon
  • Hackathons generate actionable ideas, strategic product concepts and process improvements.
  • Internal hackathons –organized within a company — provide a great way to inspire teams and promote creativity, collaboration, and innovative thinking.
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  • The gamification layer on top of hackathons can further motivate and reward employees for being innovative while staying aligned with the strategy of the corporation.
The Importance Of The Award

The most important though from a developer’s point of view is resources and sponsorship to drive the product/idea to the next stage. This could be the most inspiring award of all — the winners ability to use specialized resources (developers, equipment, software, services) — according to a suitable plan — and get prepared for a formal presentation of the outcome to the senior stakeholders, leaders and decision makers. 

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Serendipity and being open to the unexpected
Serendipity and being open to the unexpected

Serendipity is making unexpected discoveries. It is not entirely controllable nor predictable. It means seeing solutions where others find none.

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Develop the conditions for serendipity

Several companies design flexible structures and processes to cope with the unexpected. Uncertainty presents not only a challenge but also a potential opportunity.

  • The company, Haier, developed a 'platform ecosystem' where employees can present their ideas to an investment committee.
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Creating A Don’t-Do List

Start by looking at your congested to-do list. There's no doubt that there are items in that list that you can get rid of. By doing that, ask yourself these questions:

  1. If we do...
Letting Go of Hundreds of Good Ideas

It's a challenge to surrender numerous good ideas that can be innovated and improved. This is where the don't-do list come to play. In order to develop, test, pilot and revise an idea, loads of propositions must be dropped.

The challenge is to be tough enough to do the pruning so that the survivors have a chance of being implemented properly and reaching their full potential,

Closing Your Options

"Only the masters of renunciation leave an imprint, only those who can say a hundred Nos for the sake of an overwhelming Yes."

 - David Brooks.

Your energy disappears and nothing really happens.

It is a reminder for you to close those options. And starts focusing on something that will affect and move you towards success. Otherwise, you spread yourself thin. You dissipate your energies and never put full force behind any cause.