4 Keys to Making Innovation a Capability [Lessons from the Road]

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 07-31-13

Is innovation born or built? I don’t know the answer as it applies to people. But as it applies to organizations, it’s built.

My latest IndustryWeek Lessons from the Road column, titled Making Innovation a Capability, focuses on building an innovative organization. There are key lean skills and mindset that help enable this. I focus on 4 keys:

1. Empathy for the customer

2. Seeing and solving problems

3. Learn by experimenting

4. “Real artists ship”

You can read the whole article here.

When you read this, lean thinkers might be thinking: “based on these lean skills, then most lean organizations should be innovative, right?” Unfortunately no, and here’s why.

Too many lean efforts are focused primarily if not entirely on productivity / efficiency. Yes, you can certainly innovate around being more efficient, but this usually isn’t the kind of focus that leads to an innovative organization.