Organizing for innovation: four principles to stoke the fire


Successful companies look beyond the bottom line. They explore and monetize pipelines of fresh ideas and new business platforms.

In this issue of Exceptional magazine, Bob Ford of EY shares four principles that treps must focus on to drive their innovation engine.


1. Tailor your strategy to your company

Does your company's heritage and culture support innovation? Consider which aspects of your innovation engine should be nurtured as part of your overall structure. And it's critical to figure out which components of your company's legacy should be retained, and which should evolve over time.


2. Factor in the human component

Your top leaders as well as the rank-and-file have a certain capacity to absorb change. Think about the number and diversity of strategic initiatives in your company and the appetite for change among these groups. Your analysis will help you factor in the human component of your innovation infrastructure


3. Welcome outside resources

Top companies don't operate in vacuums. They embrace and blend outside innovation. Identify those points in your organization that would benefit from interaction with the outside world. This idea of “open innovation” can empower your company to focus on high-value projects while using external resources to your advantage.


4. Reward innovation at each staff level

By attaching rewards to each career stage, you can develop an environment of innovation that rewards everyone from individual professionals to corporate leaders. This process is one way to incorporate innovation-based skill sets, values and assets into your organizational structure.


Exceptional magazine: July–December 2012

Read about corporate pace setters W.L. Gore, Intercontinental Exchange, the Gilt Groupe and others through the personal reflections and winning strategies of their leaders.