How do companies remain innovative? Two gentlemen working in collaboration with Forbes magazine have just completed their second annual study on innovation and so their conclusions are worth taking note of.
Jeff Dyer is the Horace Beesley Professor of Strategy at the Marriott School of Management at Brigham Young University. Hal Gregersen is a Senior Affiliate Professor of Leadership at INSEAD. These two chaps have written a book on the Innovator's DNA and have intimately studied the most innovative companies in the world and compared them to those less innovative seeking to identify what that innovative gene is.
"Leaders of innovative companies consciously set the example by modeling innovation behaviors—and imprinting those same behaviors as processes within their organizations."Hal Gregersen and Jeff Dyer
They have identified Behavioural Skills that differentiate innovators from non-innovators:
Ultimately it is about BEING innovative right at the top, as much as how you set up R&D departments or promote innovative ideas internally or externally. Dyer and Gregersen identify among these skills the ability to ask provocative questions, to network with innovators at the cutting edge and the willingness to experiment - and to fail (read here our own Derek Laney's - @derektweets - thoughts on failure).
"You need to give people the opportunity to innovate...and frankly you need to empower that from the top down" Parker Harris, EVP and Co-Founder, Salesforce.com
So it's clear that responsibiity for innovation starts at the top, but also right across the organisation. To learn more about innovation, be sure to catch Marc Benioff's Keynote at Dreamforce next week for the latest in what the world's most innovative company have in development.