Optimizing Your Organization For Innovation

Posted by Michael Lindberg on Dec 29, 2016 9:36:50 AM

optimize your organization for innovation

How To Optimize Your Organization

Even though it has become a cliché, it goes without saying that people are an organization’s most important asset – not least when it comes to innovation. However, in order to take it one step further than the cliché level you need to act accordingly and this requires three steps:

Critical Mass:

The first step is to identify the critical mass of talent. Innovation success comes from having the right mix of people with the required competencies, whether those individuals come from inside or outside the organization.


The next step is about trust. There is no doubt that trust is essential in any dealings between individuals and organizations; lack of trust breeds cynicism which is a disease much more contagious than trust.


Finally, you must insist on accountability. Innovation depends on accountability from all participants for their contribution to the final effort. It’s a fact that failure is part of the innovation process, and innovators must accept responsibility for those failures.

Personas Required For Optimizing Your Company

So you need talented and accountable people who trust each other. Right, but let’s be even more specific and get some advice from Tom Kelley who is the CEO of the highly successful American design consultancy IDEO. Over the years they have developed a list of 10 personas that are needed for optimizing your organization to foster innovation and new ideas. Here they are:


The learning personas:

  • The anthropologist brings new learnings and insights into the organization by observing human behavior and developing a deep understanding of how people interact physically and emotionally with your products and services
  • The experimenter prototypes new ideas continuously, learning by a process of intelligent trial and error
  • The cross-pollinator explores other industries and cultures, then translates these findings and revelations to fit the unique needs of your organization

The organizing personas:

  • The hurdler understands that the path to innovation is strewn with obstacles and develops a knack for overcoming or outsmarting those roadblocks
  • The collaborator brings eclectic groups together and often leads from the middle of the pack to create new combinations and multidisciplinary solutions
  • The director not only gathers a talented crew but also helps to spark their creative talents

The building personas:

  • The experience architect designs compelling experiences way beyond functionality to connect at a deeper level with your customers’ latent or expressed needs
  • The set designer creates a stage on which team/crew members can do their very best work
  • The caregiver delivers customer care in a manner that goes beyond mere service
  • The storyteller builds both internal morale and external awareness through compelling narratives

So if you truly want innovation you must go ahead and identify these 10 personas. But don’t forget that they may not all be found internally, actually it’s more than likely you need to look outside your organization to find some of these personas. Specialized consultants are a good, safe and surprisingly cheap bet for this.


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Topics: Change