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Recipe for Innovation & Uptake

chef on cookbookThe only way to have a new idea catch fire is to
introduce it into the world in ways that enable as many people as
possible to begin
using
it for their advantage. That’s when exponential uptake
occurs.

You see, we are constantly generating the future through interaction
with unforeseen events and circumstances. This applies to everyone in
your organization. The understandings they carry – why they are doing what they are doing,
what and whom they are hoping to influence, their intents
– all
these shape their behavior which in turn filters the possibilities and
opportunities which arise.

This is why communication must be interactive, relevant, and useful. It needs
to be fun, sensible, and practicable.
Communication done poorly:
* Confuses us
* Makes it difficult for us to choose where to put our efforts
* Distracts us from the needs of the moment and our long-term intentions
* Stifles effective action

Communication done well enables us to: 
* Make sense of what is going on around us
* Decide where to put our efforts
* Balance the needs of the moment with our long-term goals
* Take effective action.

Here’s the
Recipe!

chef looking at recipe1. Identify 1, 2, or 3 top priority strategic objectives
that the senior team will support for the next 6 months. Build a mutual
vision at the cabinet level.
CookTime:
senior team, 2 hours

2. Bring your managers together and do (a) a presentation on the
objectives, and (b) a creative session on how to translate these
objectives to their teams.
CookTime: all managers, 4 hours

3. Provide communication materials to all cabinet and managers in
easy-to-digest format that will help them communicate the objectives to
their staff. These should be upbeat, clear, and adaptable, very high
level. Let the managers take care of specifiics.

Throw in an endorsement by the CEO (can be just two sentences and a
signature, does not have to be a tome), some Frequently Asked
Questions, and a support phone number & email that goes to a real
person who is gregarious and clear about the objectives.
CookTime: 2 people – 2 days

marketplace4. Hold an all staff Innovation Marketplace. Ask everyone
to demonstrate how their day-to-day work supports one or more of the
three strategic objectives and present it using original and creative
thinking. Make it
a real bazaar with booths and food.

Let people wander around and have fun.  Create awards for best
dislay, most innovative, best new idea, greatest impact, and so on.

The whole event should be just 2 hours long. Awards can be simple, like
a $100 Amazon gift certificate and the opportunity to present before
management.

CookTime: all staff, 2 weeks warning + 4
hours for marketplace (90 min set-up, 2 hrs bazaar, 30 min clean up) +
3 support people, 2 days for logistics

5. Bring the whole thing full circle at a management meeting designed
to foster creativity, engagement, and delight in delivering impact.
Find ways to integrate the new ideas that goes beyond the surface. This
is critical. This is the determining point where the whole thing can
become a virtuous circle of  staff engagement, where your people
will get the message that strategic innovation is good. This will lead
to greater and better innovation and uptake.
CookTime: senior team & winners: 2 hours

Just imagine what it
would be like to have your entire organization juiced about your
mission!