e-Coach >>> Innovation-friendly Organization


Switching Responsibilities

Keeping the Organization Young and Its People Innovative

By: Vadim Kotelnikov, Founder of Innovarsityfree online Innovation University!


"Many large enterprises are well equipped for innovation. These corporations display best practices in innovation management by systematically building it into their processes. They invite staff to move from one discipline to another so as to break down the silos that can isolate different departments. People are encouraged to move from manufacturing into sales or from research to finance. This is good for morale, but even better for developing understanding across departments. It stops sections of the company becoming too rigid and set in their ways. It encourages people to see things in different perspectives." ~ Paul Sloane


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  Systemic Innovation: 7 Areas

Keeping the Organization and People Young

The strategy of switching jobs, portfolios or areas of responsibilities creates an innovation-friendly environment where people stay challenged, look broader, communicate better, make decisions quickly and effectively, innovate and build synergies across the organization.

A nonstop stream of new ideas is gained though constantly changing perspectives and looking with new eyes at old practices, problems and issues.

 Case in Point  Hewlett-Packard

Nurturing Cross-Functional Experts

Most companies tend to recruit, train and promote people within functional corridors. But Hewlett-Packard (HP) breaks the walls, creating a carrier network that begins with the recruitment of diverse people in terms of their skills and personality and then promotes horizontally, as well as vertically throughout the company.

Typically, HP employees move through four to six functional areas in the course of their carriers. This creates broad knowledge of the company and fosters the kind of teamwork other companies covet. When it comes time to promote, managers don't look who is next down the carrier line, they look for the best people. Neither employees should follow a pre-defined path to a particular post, nor need they to get a bigger title to be given new responsibility.

 Case in Point  U.S. Department of Defense

Doing Job More Innovatively

“One of the surest ways to get a job done more innovatively is, quite simply, to reorganize frequently.” believes Ronald T. Kadish from the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) of the U.S. Department of Defense. “When you put people into a new structure, it stimulates them to rethink what they’re doing on a day-to-day basis.”

Ronald Kadish reorganized MDA on a major scale twice in less than two years. He had to do so because the organization was refocused in order to adapt to external changes. MDA needed to orient people toward a new goal, and reorganizing was one way to do that. It’s traumatic for most people in very hierarchical organizations, like MDA. But on balance, Ronald Kadish found that “people respond well if you can get them to focus not on the inconveniences of restructuring but on the satisfaction of setting high goals and then knocking down the barriers to achieving them.”

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Systemic Innovation