“Committed innovators: How masters of essentials outperform”

Originally posted in our June 2022 Top of Mind Newsletter.

Continuing to think about future societal development, what do we mean when we say innovation? When organizational leaders use that word, how are they actually committing to it?

In a recent McKinsey article, the authors begin to address these types of questions. As the writers outline in a sidebar, there are eight practices to commit to when embracing innovation. These are: aspire, choose, discover, evolve, accelerate, scale, extend, and mobilize. Broken into four categories—vision and strategy, new ideas, fast and effective scale-up, and mobilized organization and business culture—these are basic frameworks that an established organization can use to build a more innovative growth strategy. But what can we learn from them as budding entrepreneurials?

For one, established innovative organizations are mitigating risk. While most entrepreneurship programs are going to say you need to tolerate risk, that’s not really what most entrepreneurs are doing. They are breaking their solutions down to their most simple components and testing them from there to mitigate risk. They’re engaging with stakeholders and creating a feedback loop that allows for sustainable and eventually scalable ventures. Or, they are learning that the problem they’ve found isn’t worth solving, or they are not the person to solve it. And that’s something we could learn from. So finding out early this isn’t for you is a crucial piece of information that can help you make smarter decisions faster.

Rather than using buzz words to appear innovative, how can we start to commit to it in our lives, our work, and our communities? This piece offers some interesting insights.

How Are You Innovating?