Fast innovation cycles

One of the issues that leadership teams often wrestle with is the length of time it takes for innovation to bear fruit.Β  I don’t think there’s a magic bullet for this, but that organisations should try a range of approaches.Β  For large organisations, innovation at scale can be achieved through a range of software solutions including MindJet SpigitEngage.Β  However it’s still hard to beat the face-to-face interaction of small teams racing against a clock in the same room.Β  With that in mind a new book from Michael Schrage favours the 5×5 approach:

…half of Schrage’s new book is devoted to an innovation methodology called 5×5 that captures the benefits of experimentation. In the 5×5 approach, writes Schrage, β€œA minimum of 5 teams of 5 people each are given no more than 5 days to come up with a portfolio of 5 β€˜business experiments’ that should take no longer than 5 weeks to run and cost no more than 5,000 euros to conduct. Each experiment should have a business case attached that explains how running the experiment gives tremendous insight into a possible savings of 5 million euros or a 5-million-euro growth opportunity for the firm.”

Schrage says that he’s been facilitating these 5×5 exercises in companies, under the auspices of MIT’s Sloan School of Management and the Moscow School of Management since 2009. The results: β€œThere are alwaysβ€”without exceptionβ€”at least three or four experiments that make top management sit up straight, their eyes widening or narrowing, dependent on temperament, and incredulously ask, β€˜We can do that!?’”

via How to Avoid Bad Investments in Good Ideas.

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