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Chapter from: "The Innovator's DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators"
Published by: Harvard Business Publishing
Published in: 2011

Abstract

In the free market, some companies inevitably forge ahead, leaving their competition in the dust. What's more surprising is that once on top, many of them stay there. How do these winners in the race for success continue to outrun the pack? In this chapter, authors Jeff Dyer, Hal Gregerson, and Clayton Christensen share an easy-to-follow recipe for innovation: incorporate processes that encourage discovery and the exchange of ideas. They discuss the three criteria that pioneers such as Virgin Inc. and Amazon use to screen and hire only those applicants who meet high standards of creativity, inventiveness, and a demonstrable passion for new ideas. They go on to examine the ways in which organizations have institutionalized the most important skills and applied them at a procedural level, revealing the practices that have been effective for companies like Toyota and Google. Toyota subscribes to the ‘Five Why's’ method to encourage questioning from the top to the bottom of the corporation, and free food in Google's office cafes facilitates networking between employees from unrelated departments. By adapting these discovery processes to your own business, aligning them with the discovery skills of disruptive innovation, and combining them in unique ways, you too can create the optimal conditions for innovation. This chapter was originally published as Chapter 9 of ‘The Innovator's DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators.’ This chapter is excerpted from ‘The Innovator's DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators'.

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Abstract

In the free market, some companies inevitably forge ahead, leaving their competition in the dust. What's more surprising is that once on top, many of them stay there. How do these winners in the race for success continue to outrun the pack? In this chapter, authors Jeff Dyer, Hal Gregerson, and Clayton Christensen share an easy-to-follow recipe for innovation: incorporate processes that encourage discovery and the exchange of ideas. They discuss the three criteria that pioneers such as Virgin Inc. and Amazon use to screen and hire only those applicants who meet high standards of creativity, inventiveness, and a demonstrable passion for new ideas. They go on to examine the ways in which organizations have institutionalized the most important skills and applied them at a procedural level, revealing the practices that have been effective for companies like Toyota and Google. Toyota subscribes to the ‘Five Why's’ method to encourage questioning from the top to the bottom of the corporation, and free food in Google's office cafes facilitates networking between employees from unrelated departments. By adapting these discovery processes to your own business, aligning them with the discovery skills of disruptive innovation, and combining them in unique ways, you too can create the optimal conditions for innovation. This chapter was originally published as Chapter 9 of ‘The Innovator's DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators.’ This chapter is excerpted from ‘The Innovator's DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators'.

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