Insights from the Big Apple
The Edison Awards is the premier innovation showcase for North America. Applications are taken globally with representation from all continents. In the 2017 Edison Awards, Australia had 3 finalists out of 144.
The Edison Awards recognition event comprised three activities; a reception, a conference/showcase and, finally, the award event itself. The showcase included 20 presenters and panelists including Andrew Banks of Australia’s Shark Tank. VIP guests included:
Astro Teller, Captain of Moonshots at X. X is a Google/Alphabet company responsible for disruptive innovations including the driverless car.
Jeff Immelt, CEO and Chairman of GE, a 35 year veteran with diverse experience across many markets and products.
Michal Dockerty, consultant and author with many years experience in large organisations. Michael is a collaborator with Tomasz Rudolf of D-Raft in Poland. Tomasz is a long time partner and friend of Hargraves Institute.
Each delivered very different insights with a common theme, a theme which also aligns with the direction and experience of Hargraves Institute.
Astro introduced two new terms, ‘innovation factory’ and ‘cultural engineering’. His clear message being that idea of start-ups and two lone inventors in a garage is a thing of the past. Today innovation belongs to large, well-funded teams of diverse experienced experts. Astro argued that the world and technology has become so complicated that individuals alone will find it hard to succeed. In the US, even for successful start-ups round one funding requires many millions of dollars to do the work.
The term ‘cultural engineering’ was used to describe the approach of creating the culture required for these teams to perform.
Astro described the 5 attributes that leaders need to deliver to create the right culture in a successful innovation factory:
- Aim for 10x not 10%, always.
- Fall in love with the problem, not the technology.
- Celebrate failure.
- Make contact with the real world as fast as possible.
- Be as humble as you are audacious.
Jeff Immelt supported the idea of innovation teams as a part of the future. Jeff explored the meme of ‘why not us’ as a way of motivating teams at GE to deliver breakthrough innovation. He described how large conglomerates can compete with start-ups, citing as an example how the strategy of ECO-IMAGINATION delivered over $300 billion in new sales to GE through innovation teams.
This is the second blog in the series, Innovation Insights from New York, by Allan Ryan, Executive Director, Hargraves Institute