Thou Shalt Define Innovation for Your Organization

May 25, 2021

If you ask 10 different people to define innovation, you’ll get 10 different answers. In his second commandment, Moisés Noreña explores the importance of creating a company-wide definition of innovation.

“One of your roles [as an innovation leader] is to help the organization understand what innovation is,” says Noreña, former Head of Innovation at Whirlpool, Allstate, and Moen. “Innovation may be something completely different in different companies. So, part of your job is to help the company understand how innovation is defined, and claim it for themselves.”

Noreña also shares five tips to help leaders synthesize different perspectives into one definition:

  • Have coffee with key stakeholders to understand how innovation can benefit different departments throughout the organization.

  • Synthesize feedback. Take all of the different perspectives and use that information to write a statement that defines innovation.

  • Share your draft with key leaders, and use their feedback to make adjustments.

  • Take the revised definition to a group and collectively discuss it. “At that point,” Noreña notes, “you’ll understand what each one of these stakeholders really need. And you’ll be able to facilitate a conversation with a lot of confidence.”

  • Socialize the definition across the organization.

Next up: Learn about Commandment #3, or watch this video in Spanish.