33 Missteps for Corporate Innovation…

I came across a hilarious list of things corporates try when they want to look more innovative. Sadly, you know the list is true if you are in Corporate Innovation and that's what makes it so funny. Credits to Tristan Kromer @ the Grasshopper Herder Lean Startup Blog for the list, with a few of my edits.

Might I suggest an alternative? Working with our Corporate Partners, we help them set goals and create an Innovation Roadmap around solving their challenges by leveraging the Tech Community. Then acting as a community facilitator for them, we tailor and facilitate events, accelerators, knowledge-building workshops, tech scouting, patent creation, and talent engagement opportunities to drive successful innovation outcomes in the tech community to meet their goals.

Enjoy the List:

1. Start an accelerator.

2. Buy hoodies for everyone in the accelerator!

3. Do a “find-and-replace” for the word “strategy” and replace it with an “innovation thesis.”

4. Anytime anyone on your team uses the word prototype, correct them with “MVP”.

5. Have the CEO talk about failure without actually admitting failure.

6. Create a stage-gate innovation process for the accelerator, but call it “metered funding.”

7. Rename the accelerator into an incubator.

8. Have the CEO talk optimistically about the incubator's innovation pipeline of new products, then fire an incubator team member or two because their roles have been eliminated.

9. Hire a consultant. And while you’re at it, hire another one.

10. Hire a Vice President of Innovation to oversee the incubator, but under no circumstances hire a President of Innovation.

11. Drop the phrase “Innovation Ecosystem” into random sentences. E.g. “The coffee makes for a great innovation ecosystem.”

12. Fire the consultant. And while you’re at it, fire the other one too.

13. Rename the incubator an Idea Lab.

14. Underfund the Idea Lab. It increases creative pressure.

15. Refuse to continue funding products from the Idea Lab because they don’t align with strategy. When asked what the strategy is, create a distraction, and run.

16. Now that the Idea Lab is up and running, create an Innovation Ecosystem consisting of two high potential employees and an intern.

17. Run a hackathon – no wait…make it an idea jam.

18. Change the floor plan in your office from cubicles to an open layout.

19. Assign all innovation team members to a minimum of 6 business-as-usual projects because “innovation is everyone’s job.”

20. Ensure that all workplaces are ergonomically optimized by using copies of the Lean Startup to adjust the height of everyone’s computer monitors.

21. Buy a lot of LEGOs.

22. Change the open floor layout by building cubicles out of LEGOs and insist it increases productivity.

23. Make sure all the office walls are covered in important-looking post-it notes.

24. Organize a safari to Silicon Valley. Wear hats and bring sunscreen.

25. Create a canvas. Insist that it is better than the Business Model Canvas.

26. Hire a different consultant.

27. Talk about embracing a culture of failure, then fail at embracing a culture of failure. Repeat Step 27 if necessary.

28. Test all ideas in one week with a design sprint. Don’t allow any extensions. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day, but they probably could’ve done it in a week if they tried harder.

29. Implement a four-year plan to get rid of four-year business plans.

30. Go back to using the Business Model Canvas.

31. Train innovation catalysts, but give them no projects to work on.

32. Align the fiscal calendar with Eric Ries’ birthday, author of the Lean Startup book.

33. And lastly, hire McKinsey. No one ever got fired for hiring McKinsey.