Innovation is one of the corporate mantras and delegation, the most used tool for getting-things-done. We then get chief-innovation-officers or someone to take care of the business of innovation. This might be a key reason why it becomes difficult to innovate.
Building a craft requires freedom to think, experiment and fail. When companies plan innovation job assignments as routine tasks, many true intrapreneurs don’t fit the mould. They passionately appoint themselves executors of their visions and find ways to get their corporation’s support for the same. allocating a person who is not the owner of the idea to execute, makes it harder for him to engage in experimenting and forces to get obsessed with results, than the pursuit. Innovation turns into a quest to keep project on track, under budget and everyone satisfied. Craft suffers. Intraprenuers go into the hiding. Ratio of failed innovation projects to successful pursuits sets a new benchmark.
Let people self-select and appoint themselves as executors of their ideas. Let people volunteer to participate in experiments. Support them with external advisors, especially serial entrepreneurs to provide them direction and courage. This builds confidence and faith in the system. Celebrate small wins. Recognise intrapreneurs. Set different performance measures. Set bigger ambitions. Let them stay and experiment more.
Self-selection is the first powerful lever you should use for yourself and for your corporation’s innovation and reinvention journey. Make the best use.