The 7-Step Combination to Unlock Innovation

Everyone says they want innovation in their organization, but when an ambitious employee offers it to a CEO, for example, the idea is often shot down, says Neal Thornberry, Ph.D., faculty director for innovation initiatives at the Naval Postgraduate School in California.

“Senior leaders often miss the value-creating potential of a new concept because they either don’t take the time to really listen and delve into it, or the innovating employee presents it in the wrong way,” says Thornberry, who recently published “Innovation Judo,” based on his years of experience teaching innovation at Babson College and advising an array of corporate clients, from the Ford Co. and IBM to Cisco Systems. 

“Innovation should be presented as opportunities, not ideas. Opportunities have gravitas while ideas do not!”

Thornberry outlines his seven elements of innovation in this gallery:

(Neal Thornberry, Ph.D., is the founder and CEO of IMSTRAT, LLC a consulting firm that specializes in helping private and public sector organizations develop innovation strategies. He  also serves as the faculty director for innovation initiatives at the Center for Executive Education at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif. Thornberry holds a doctorate in organizational psychology and specializes in innovation, corporate entrepreneurship, leadership and organizational transformation.)

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