Many companies boast about their cultures of innovation. They incorporate creativity and openness into their mission or values statements. They reward employees for new insights and ideas. They hire and promote for innovation. Yet despite such measures, they find that their teams remain stubbornly locked in place, struggling to generate new ideas and to execute even minor change initiatives.
My friend was frazzled. She had joined a large, consumer-facing organization, where she was immersed in the exciting work of redesigning the customer journey map. But she faced a major obstacle. Line managers were accustomed to doing business the old way. They knew how to get things done in that environment. They felt comfortable with leading and managing outcomes. How could she help these managers through the trouble and emotional turmoil of learning something new even as they continued to deliver on significant business expectations?
Have you heard about Adobe’s Kickbox? It’s a little red box filled with materials that take employees through a six-step, self-guided innovation process. Employees who have a new idea they want to pursue take a workshop and then proceed through the stages of innovation on their own. Each box contains a credit card with $1000 in seed money.