The silver bullet in radical innovation

4 december 2017

doesnt’ exist :-)

HRbuilders is committed to connecting great people in HR. We are convinced that #TheFutureOfWork is all about flexibility and that’s why we invest heavily in building freelance careers. The 4th industrial revolution with technology, demographics and globalization as major drivers, have shifted the context of work and workforce fundamentally.  We are convinced that 80% of what HR is doing today won’t be done by them anymore in 5 years or less. HR is challenged to rethink the talent value proposition and to radically shift towards a new HR framework in which traditional HR is topped off with progressive HR.

This week’s #ConnectWithContent is your third and second last wake-up call as HR is headed for total disruption! It’s time for a new breed of HR rebels and we are going to help you to lead the way and take on the role of Chief Adaptability Officer.

That’s why HRbuilders is organising an exclusive meet-up with Peter Hinssen to help HR rebels accelerate their ‘Day after tomorrow thinking’. To get you warmed up, we’ve been sharing some thoughts from Peter’s book ‘The day after tomorrow’ these last couple of weeks. 

In this week’s edition we found some patterns of ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ by looking closely at innovative companies  and how they managed to re-invent, re-generate, re-boot and re-think their very core existence. 

It’s not just a matter of putting some ingredients together in the cauldron of a corporation. The silver bullet in radical innovation doesn’t exist! 
There’s a little magic involved! And that magic is often ingrained in the culture of the organization!

Pattern #1 The Remote Silo

Many companies have tried to shield their ‘Day After Tomorrow’ magic in a remote silo, neatly separated from the ‘today’ people and from ‘the shit of yesterday’. Isolating all your ‘Day After Tomorrow’ efforts in a separate unite inside your company can be a good idea, provided that you do not disconnect entirely because when too far removed, it can backfire and it will be extremely difficult to cycle the innovation back into the mainstream of the corporate entity. 

Pattern #2 The Separate Entity

One of the biggest challenges that keeps companies awake at night is balancing an existing business model with another one that operates on the flip side and might even cannibalize the core business. Ambidextrous organizations solve this by separating the existing business from the emerging one because the structure, processes, mindset and skills which are used to sustain the business tend to clash with those needed for radical innovation. 

You need glue to integrate your core business with your radical innovation: a common purpose, a shared culture, strong leadership, ...

And if a company has a severe integration problem with the radical ‘Day After Tomorrow’ silo, there’s only one solution: cut the umbilical cord! 

Pattern #3 The Catapult

How do you get innovation to be really engrained in the organization?
How do you make sure that radical innovation is an integral part of your organization?

Catapults - Innovation exercises - could also be an answer. During such catapults senior executives from different business divisions participate in an intense program. They are literally bombarded with all kinds of eye-opening exercises and fed with disruptive ideas and technologies.

The aim of such catapults is to figure out one or more ‘Day After Tomorrow’ initiatives that are truly radical. 

They have to come up with projects that have the potential to change the course of their industry and then they have to present it to the board. 

Catapults tend to work very well in large siloed organizations because they have the potential to close unhealthy gaps between certain teams and their endeavors. 
>> Note that this will only work if the innovation team has the right DNA.

Pattern #4 Customer Co-Creation

One of the most efficient ways to keep in touch with increasingly complex markets is to use co-creation with customers. That way ideas come from outside the organization and they tend to meet with less resistance than when they are originated by employees. Then again, this kind of innovation tends to be more about incremental innovation that about fundamental disruption. 

Pattern #5 The Portfolio Organization

Google was one of the first companies to experiment with portfolio structure: creating a new holding company that is composed of independent operating units, each with separate and strong management. Google did this because they realized they had become too big to stay fast and agile. Just like any other large company; some parts logically become solid. In a portfolio organization fluid and solid parts are kept at a safe distance from each other but they share the same purpose, values, culture and engagement.

Pattern #6  Accelerators and Corporate Garage

The real magic happens in a garage.

Apple started in a garage. Google started in a garage. If you don’t have a garage, you’re screwed :-)

Many corporates are building ‘corporate garages’ where startups can be hatched. They often have more influence than the accelerators.

Pattern #7 The Network organization

The network organization completely challenges the hierarchical command and control strategic thinking. 

Radical innovation needs an environment that is ‘a little off’ that seems a bit dangerous, even. 

In a network organization employees are used to continual change, which reduces the fear that is associated with change in most companies. If companies want to thrive in an accelerating market, they need to embrace continuous innovation and one of the biggest obstacles to overcome is the fear of change. 

Pattern #8 Going for Integral Disruption or for the pollutants strategy

Companies that have 100% pure undiluted ‘Day After Tomorrow’ DNA are very rare. SpaceX is a perfect example.

If you really want to shape the future of work and if you really want to dream up your ‘Day After Tomorrow’, you should follow the pollutants, the outliers: those who are trying to do things radically different. You can call them rebels, mavericks,we like to call them #ZigZagHR. 
They are the ones trying to accomplish crazy things that have never been done before...

There are as many ways to find your ‘Day After Tomorrow’ as there are companies. 
There’s no one-size-fits-all success formula, but there are some ingredients that can stimulate radical innovation provided that you have the right DNA and that you dare to experiment.

At HRbuilders we challenge HR rebels to keep their eyes open, trigger their brain, talk with as many pollutants as they can and just start experimenting. 

And to get you going, we invite you to our exclusive meet-up with thought leader Peter Hinssen Saturday December 16th. 

Want to join us? Here’s where you can find more info.
Please note that this is a HR rebels and learnatics only event :-)

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Great paper !

06 december 2017 by Claude Bettendorf

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