Leading Audacious Change

Why Corporate Zombies don't innovate - and how to make innovation inevitable

July 19, 2020 Marcus Druen Episode 5
Leading Audacious Change
Why Corporate Zombies don't innovate - and how to make innovation inevitable
Show Notes Chapter Markers

Today I am speaking with Elvin Turner. Elvin is an award-winning innovation expert and associate professor of innovation, entrepreneurship and marketing for MBA and executive education programmes.

He has coached hundreds of corporate innovation initiatives around the world, coaching leaders in some of the world’s most innovative organisations in the finance, technology, music, drinks and publishing industries to overcome the many barriers that they face when trying to turn new ideas into action. 

His new book is called "Be Less Zombie: How great organisations create dynamic innovation, fearless leadership and passionate people."

Unusual title you may think, but unfortunately the zombie-like state of being has been the old normal in many organisations, especially large corporates.

In this conversation Elvin and I are exploring the path from zombie-dom to angel-hood. When I checked the antonyms to zombie, angel stood out for me with its connotation of being soulful, warm-hearted, smart and wise.

 In this episode you will learn:

·      That innovation is first and foremost a “choice”

·      How the mechanics of innovation resemble the process of adaptation in nature

·      Why bad incentives turn good actors into “innovation zombies”

·      The difference between leading innovation from the top and growing it bottom-up

·      Why small experiments are essential to convince naysayers

·      How to make innovation inevitable and the game-changing Innovation KPI at 3M

·      Why Elvin thinks progress for humanity should be the yardstick for innovation

 I really rate his innovation for realists approach, and hope you enjoy this episode!

Here you can watch Elvin's Innovation Essentials Videos and download 12 accompanying slide decks: https://www.elvinturner.com/ie-access 

Elvin's upfront insight nugget on the dread's of current working conditions, and Marcus' intros for the podcast and this episode
Why Elvin's new book is called "Be less Zombie", Marcus' proposal to 'Be more Angel' - and how this best manifests when innovation is done as a choice with the top team totally behind it
Why the "More for Less" mantra during the last boom has suffocated organisations and often reduces innovation to incremental short-term optimisation
How 3M has created an innovation inevitability through game-changing KPI that its managers are measured against - the lead domino for innovation and how to run small experiments - just like how adaptation works in nature
How corporate executives can overcome the common excuses and take full ownership as innovation leaders
The importance of self-leadership, well-being and mental health, and why the latter can unlock more capacity for organisational performance than competence frameworks and capability programmes
The connection between personal vulnerability amongst executives, organisational health and innovation cultures - and why existing corporate power structures are a massive blocker
Dream big, start small: how IBM iconically lowered the risk of an innovation through a very small experiment - and how one of Elvin's clients applied this mantra to predict music hits at next to no cost
Why "Acting as if" is a pre-requisite for innovation, and why the latter is all about 'giving life'
How Elvin stays relevant himself: solve hard problems and how he innovates the consulting industry: decode the "How" of innovation
Why focussing on real progress for customers is more important than product-driven innovation and will create a better environment for employees and society - creating a new normal after COVID-19
How to contact Elvin, where to get his book and free resources, plus episode outro