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Don’t get ready, get started: how innovation initiatives can get a jolt in 2015

Max Farrell is the co-founder of Create Reason, a firm that inspires innovation and intrapreneurship inside companies to drive engagement and bold action. 

Startup stock photo 3 color

Many companies are wrapping up strategic conversations for 2015 and many are discussing how innovation will be a key initiative for their growth. But what’s that first step for the organization?

Adapting the culture for innovation. Change is really, really hard. Making it a cultural staple is tough too. 

To kickoff corporate innovation is either a beginning or a continuation of previous efforts. All companies were once startups and have that innovative spirit somewhere in their DNA. 

The most important thing in this world is creating value. It doesn't matter if someone leaves a company to create a startup or teams build something internally. The most important thing is to make sure you're solving a problem and that value is created from it for others to benefit from. 

In order to allow for innovation to infiltrate and actually work inside an organization, the culture has to adapt and has to be willing to embrace experimentation and shift some focus on priorities both from the company standpoint and the employee standpoint. Again, this is hard.

Corporate entrepreneurs (intrapreneurs) have an extremely unique opportunity to steer the massive ship from monotony to tackling new,really big opportunities with the tremendous resources that a large organization already has. 

But sometimes the biggest roadblock is the company getting out of its own way so that corporate entrepreneurs can shake the world up in ways that startups don't have the resources for and that existing executives don't have the to recognize. 

The day-to-day will always cannibalize innovation efforts. Fires rise in all of our organizations, but having at least a few team members staying laser focused on new initiatives is key. 

To make sure the initiatives are fruitful, action has to happen. This can be the tiniest of things.

Here are a few ideas:  

-Create a landing page to test new initiatives.

-Talk to existing customers about some opportunities that are being explored. I promise that the touch point of pro-actively looking to meet their needs will be well received. 

-Run a pitch competition internally to showcase the innovative ideas employees across the organization have. Commit to implementing at least one. 

Whatever path your teams choose, take the bold steps in conquering new initiatives. Remember: don't get ready, get started. 

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Let's keep the conversation going: 

Email: max@createreason.com

Twitter: @MaxOnTheTrack / @CreateReason

Web: CreateReason.com

FB: facebook.com/createreason

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