By John Brooker (United Kingdom)

Imagine your senior leadership team wants an in-house programme on innovation and request your advice. How would you respond?

To develop a successful programme you must consider different factors that form an innovative organisation. To illustrate these factors, let use the layers of a metaphorical rainforest, which, like an innovative organisation is a rich, creative and complex environment:

Layer 1 – A Clear Innovation Strategy

Without a strategy, your programme will have no direction. I interviewed a CEO recently and two pillars of her innovation strategy were to:

  • Differentiate from competitors – innovate in areas other than operational efficiency
  • Introduce a standard method and language for people to innovate.bc10-1

In Summary

To develop a successful programme:

  • Consider innovation as a system and ensure that your programme takes in to account key aspects of it
  • Ensure management is very clear why they want to innovate and how they will measure it in business terms
  • Run a pilot workshop to create a real proposition and let people learn from this; as I say, “Innovate to learn, don’t learn to innovate.”

Most of all, urge the people in your organisation to stop talking about innovation and innovate!

Source: iCN Issue 10 (Business Coaching); pages 33-35

About John Brooker

John Brooker is a former Senior Vice President of Visa. Since 2001, he has facilitated organisations and teams to collaborate, innovate and transform. He is the author of “The Creative Gorilla; Innovate to Learn, Don’t Learn to Innovate.” For practical innovation tips, you can learn more at