In their latest collaboration, Beyond the Idea, Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble, explain how to execute innovation in any organization. As they explain, “The most important message in Beyond the Idea is very simple: innovation execution is its own unique discipline. It requires time, energy, and distinct thinking. Unfortunately, few companies treat it as such. In fact, few companies give it much thought at all.”
Years ago, Oliver Wendell Holmes observed, ” I would not give a fig for simplicity on this side of complexity but I would give my life for simplicity on the other side of complexity. More recently, Albert Einstein suggested, “Make everything as simple as possible but no simpler.”
The methodology that Govindarajan and Trimble propose has twelve fundamental principles (Pages 153-156). Here are the first three:
1. Companies must shift time and energy from this side to the other side of innovation.
2. Organizations are not built for innovation, they are built for ongoing operations…and there are fundamental incompatibilities between the two. [Please see Pages 6-9.]
3. There are three powerful models for overcoming these incompatibilities and allowing innovation and ongoing operations to simultaneously to thrive. All three models can coexist in a single company, but it is crucial to match each initiative to the proper model.
a. Model S, for Small initiatives, attempts to squeeze innovation into slivers of slack time. It can deliver a very large number of very small initiatives.
b. Model R, for Repeatable initiatives, attempts to make innovation as repeatable and predictable as possible. It can deliver an ongoing series of similar initiatives, regardless of their size.
c. Model C, for Custom initiatives, is for all initiatives that are beyond limitations of either Model S or Model R.
I highly recommend Beyond the Idea as well as How Stella Saved the Farm: A Tale About Making Innovation Happen (2013), Reverse Innovation: Create Far From Home, Win Everywhere (2013), and The Other Side of Innovation: Solving the Execution Challenge (2010).
Head’s Up: Beyond the Idea will be published on September 24. You can pre-order it by clicking here.
Leave a Comment