How to Organize your Company for Innovation Success


Good Morning Pioneers,
Here's a simple three step process - when it comes to organizing for success.

Step 1: The Leader leads.  You cannot and should not "assign" responsibility for the future of your organization to someone else.  Identifying the Very Important Problems and Opportunities for the organization - the basic direction - is not something that is done by committee or by a VP or Manager.   As Dr. Deming said - Constancy of Purpose comes from the CEO as leadership is a job of prediction.

Step 2: Everyone is part of the process.  Accelerating the organization to more profitable products and services is everyone's priority.  Training and engagement starts with pioneers who increase speed and decrease risk with innovation.  With success others join the movement.  In time 75% of the organization will become a part of the movement.   And the remaining 25% who are not willing will become candidates for early retirement :).

Step 3: Innovation Engineering Black Belt Group accelerates success.   Within large companies an Innovation Engineering Group lead the People, Project and Process acceleration.  Within small companies the group might be a group of 2 who work at it part time.  Pasted below is a  job description for the role/department....

Doug Hall

p.s.   Good luck out there today --- it's a crazy world filled with scared leaders and terrified managers -- educate them because as Dr. Deming said "How could they know?"  And, when others are running in circles your job is to maintain "Constancy of Purpose" and stay grounded in the meaningful.

Company Name Innovation Engineering Group 

Mission:  To help company leadership grow a culture of never ending innovation.  The result of this will be increased innovation speed, decreased risk and greater employee engagement.


1.   PEOPLE Engagement: The primary driver of culture change is education in the new mindset.  The foundation of the new mindset is training and tools.  The IE dept. tasks in this area include:

• Leading the company’s customized IE Workshop program & Supporting IE Retreats

• Leading IE Green Belt Certification enrollment and scheduling with Front Line Staff

• When ready,  coaching of IE Black Belt projects leading to certification

• Internal Innovation Supply Chain Request Platform & group rewards

• Supporting External Innovation Supply Chain Platform and growth

• Author  - Company Name Innovation Coffee House Blog (Original content & repackaged Brain Brew)

Key Metric:  % of staff involved, % certified, Cultural assessment,  % involved in Requests 

2.   PROJECT Acceleration: The driver of ROI for the company is the acceleration of projects that are very important problems or opportunities.  Tasks in this area include:

• Serving as Project Leader on at least one project at all time

• Serving as Process Coach and coach of the coaches

• Assist or Lead Innovation Engineering Accelerators, CREATE & Strategy Activation Sessions

• Patent Flea Market mining and alerts

• Tech & Problem Solving Support for Front Line Staff (a major focus as culture develops)

Key Metric:  Time in Discover and Development,  Concept Score (risk measure)

3.   PROCESS Advantages: The driver of sustainable competitive edge for Company Name is never ending improvement in the company’s innovation infrastructure.  Tasks in this area include:

• Forensic Analysis and Metric Mining, Research & Tracking

• Lead/coach Innovation Engineering Infrastructure Projects to increase speed/decrease risk

- HR, Finance, Legal, Tech Development, Supply Chain, Market Research

• Lead Company name Innovation Marketplace (Yellow Card library, Patent Translations, Spark Decks)

• Lead Monthly Process Reviews, Quarterly Pipeline Reviews

• Lead internal Innovation Leadership Communities

• Lead customization and management of private IE Labs portal

Key Metric:  Pipeline value by stage, alignment to Blue Cards & list of process improvements

Details on Organization and Allocation of Time & Energy

• At the start the focus tends to be 20% People, 60% Project, 20% Process to build confidence.

• As confidence builds it will become balanced: 33% People, 33% Project, 33% Process.

• Everyone in the group can do everything - however there will be people with specialties.

• Small full time team  - the bulk team part time located in divisions & departments (dotted line)

• Titles are kept simple:  VP, DIrector, Manager of Innovation Engineering Group

Doug Hall

The Driving Eureka! Newsletter is a compilation of case studies, new techniques, thought provoking insights, an occasional rant, and excerpts from my books 



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