Again, a fantastic new book has seen the light “Innovation as Usual”.

Innovation as Usual: How to Help Your People Bring Great Ideas to Life, written by Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg and Paddy Miller.

In the Sunday Times, Hannah Prevett Published (24 March 2013) a strong article based on the outcome of the book. She summarized the book with the key message that is that focus beats freedom. See the following parts of the article:

When organisations urge their teams to think creatively, employees are often given no guidelines — they are simply told to “think outside the box”. But sometimes a little direction is much more useful in creating a culture of innovation, the book argues.

“There are these perceptions that if you want people to be creative, it’s just about giving them all the freedom in the world. That might work in some settings — if you are an R&D company, for example. But my experience is that, if you give people total freedom in a regular company, that’s paralysing.”

In the book, the authors explain that employees are used to making micro-decisions as part of their day-to-day duties. But when they are taken out of that environment, they will come face to face with choices that are unfamiliar and make them feel uncomfortable. This can lead to inertia.

The theory has been borne out by empirical research. A study undertaken by the authors in 2011 with Koen Klokgieters, vice president of strategy and innovation at the consultant Capgemini, found that the failure of companies to direct people’s search for new ideas may be the most widespread barrier to innovation.

The researchers solicited the views of 260 executives worldwide, most of whom had the word “innovation” in their job title. Only 42% of the companies surveyed had an explicit innovation strategy, and just 55% of the executives demonstrated an awareness of any systems they had in place to help employees innovate.

Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg gives you a snapshot of the six key steps to getting more creativity and innnovation from your employees as presented in his book via several videos:
1.Focus, 2.Connect, 3.Tweak, 4.Filter, 5.Stealthstorm and 6.Persist.