Innovation at large companies is hard, but it doesn’t have to be. Follow these 12 innovative steps to innovate and increase innovation in the workplace and you’ll be innovating in no time.
1. Hire a Chief Innovation Officer
Bring on someone dedicated to innovation. Give them lots of latitude so they have no idea what they’re supposed to be doing, no idea what team they’re on and no idea if they’re being successful. At some point you’ll realize you have no idea what this person does, so hire a Chief Disruption Officer to work with them. Follow that up with a Chief Officer Officer, and a Chief Chief Officer.
2. Attend an innovation conference
Attend an innovation conference that’s named a fun portmanteau of the word “innovate,” such as Finnovate, Technovate, or Diginnovate. Take a lot of notes and hand out business cards. Forget everything as soon as you leave.
3. Order a few Gartner reports
To innovate, you must focus on the data. To focus on the data, you must order the data. Spend thousands of dollars on several reports. Do a deep dive into the research. Present your findings to the team. Feel like you accomplished something. Use this accomplishment to find a better paying job at another company.
4. Start an Innovation Lab
Convert a corner office into an Innovation Lab (or Innovation Institute, or Innovation Incubator). Staff your Innovation Lab with current engineers who will continue working on their existing projects but will draw cool things on the whiteboards so it looks like they’re innovating.
5. Run a sprint
Run a 3-day Innovation sprint where you lock everyone in a conference room and tell them to be creative. Put multi-colored post-it notes up on the walls. At the end of the sprint announce to the company how many great ideas came out of the sprint, then do none of them.
6. Go on an Innovation retreat
Take your executive team on an Innovation retreat like Steve Jobs used to do. Arrive with high hopes, leave with several potential sexual harassment lawsuits.
7. Just say the word “innovation” over and over again
If you keep saying the word innovation over and over again, people will eventually assume you’re being really innovative.
8. Create a company-wide innovation OKR
Encourage your employees to make innovation a top priority by including it on their personal list of objectives and key results. Feel excited when everyone gives themselves a perfect score for accomplishing the goal, even though you haven’t actually seen any new ideas implemented.
9. Rename all your conference rooms
Give your conference rooms the names of inspiring inventors, leaders and humanitarians and fill them with fun seating options like bean bag chairs, bouncy balls and massage chairs.
10. Become a “digital first” company
Tell everyone you are now a “digital first” company. Update your word processing system from Lotus Notes to Office 365. Consider your job done.
11. Change the font on your logo
Re-imagine your logo for the digital age by changing the font from serif to sans-serif.
12. Steal something from Apple
Stealing something from Apple is the most innovative way to be seen as an innovative, digital-first company.