When choosing which ideas to progress, organisations often take the easy way out. This can be because incremental innovations are often:
As humans, we like the certainty of an incremental idea. The trouble is, incremental innovation is only going to get you so far.
To achieve sustainable growth, organisations need to progress both incremental and disruptive innovations. But organisations don’t make decisions, people do. As a facilitator, I’ve observed hundreds of people make decisions on thousands of ideas. Time and time again, people ‘lean into’ incremental ideas over disruptive ideas.
So how can you avoid this? Let’s go through some ways you can ensure disruptive innovation makes the cut:
Prime people for disruptive thinking. When briefing people on the challenge, let them know that incremental ideas are ‘off the table’. This will channel thinking into disruptive areas at the onset of idea generation.
Pre-cull ideas before the final decision. Take a break between idea generation & decision-making to review all the ideas generated. Remove any incremental ideas from the group. This way, only the best breakthrough thinking is being presented to decision makers.
Prime people to choose disruptive ideas – when briefing people prior to decision-making, anchor them in the scope of the challenge (that you’re looking for disruptive innovation!).
Get the best brains making the decision. Hand pick who you invite to make a decision on which ideas progress and which get left behind. Consider people who will not be under the influence of internal variables such as KPI’s or work load.
With a PhD in organisational psychology, Amantha has helped companies such as Google, Coca-Cola, Disney, LEGO, Red Bull, American Express, McDonalds, Virgin Australia, Commonwealth Bank and many others innovate more successfully. Amantha was a finalist in the Telstra Business Women of the Year awards.
Amantha is the co-creator of the BRW Most Innovative Companies list, an annual list that Inventium compiles, ranking Australia's top innovators. She has written for publications including The Australian Financial Review, BRW, Australian Business Solutions and Smart Company and is the author of the best-selling book “The Creativity Formula: 50 scientifically proven creativity boosters for work and for life”. Her second book is called, “The Innovation Formula”. Read more