Managing Director Daryl Twitchell has published another great article on the Huffington Post cowritten with Amy Radin and Kevin McDermott. The article discusses how innovators inside organizations need to go about building coalitions and support in order to succeed.
Having worked with clients over the years on a number of innovation initiatives, I can attest to the challenge of trying to ram innovation into an organization from the top down. Projects, of any kind really, are most typically successful when they are being supported across the organization. That said, I’ve seen a number of situations where a skunkworks project has succeeded BECAUSE it was separated from the core organization where it could escape the naysayers and traditional group think. And the different organization structures that can work were discussed in another one of our posts called Skunks, Pop-ups and Hybrids.
So which article is right? Do you have to be a coalition builder or can you build a skunkworks? The answer to both is “Yes”. You need support in certain organizational settings and following the template laid out in this article is deadly accurate. On the other hand, if your organization has a different culture you need to think carefully about how to configure your innovation work. That question around how to establish innovation in your organization is the hard one to answer and one of the reasons that InLytics is here.
Photo by Kamyar Adl