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How To FOOL Around with Innovation

Hi, everyone, Ken Cameron from Corporate Culture Shift here.

We're talking about The SHIFT Card Deck.

We're really excited about the card deck because we're right smack in the middle of our ATB boostR campaign.

We're doing a series of vlog posts in which we explore the card deck, so that, if you're interested in the card deck, you can find out as much about it as possible.

There are 81 cards within the Shift card deck. We've divided them into nine different categories, or nine different suites, just like a card deck has different suites, and these identify nine different drivers that you can use to shape your organization's culture.

Today we're going to talk about How to Fool Around With Innovation, because innovation is vital to any organization's growth. It is the life blood of growth.

Without innovation then companies run the risk of stagnating.

Change, in the 21st Century, is so fast that if you are not constantly innovating, if you are not constantly changing, then you are not really standing still you are falling behind.

Because your competition is innovating.

The environment around you is innovating and constantly changing, and you need to be working in this sphere in order to keep up.

How do we encourage innovation in our organization's culture?

Fortunately, within the innovation category, we've got eight other cards that you can use to intentionally foster innovation within your organization.

Let's take a look at each of these cards within the innovation sphere.


The first is collaboration. Within your organization you need to get your individuals collaborating.

Many organizations that are of a particular size or larger often find that their employees are very, very heavily siloed.

This is why they love working on cross-functional teams because it's one of the rare opportunities when they get to collaborate.

If you run a smaller organization you're in luck, collaboration might already be embedded within your organization because it's collaboration that is the first stepping stone to innovation.

Entrepreneurial Thinking

When you have people within an organization who begin to apply entrepreneurial thinking, then we call those intrapreneurs because they are applying the sense of business and autonomy and the sense of entrepreneurial thinking and initiative to their jobs within the context of a larger organization.


Another element that drives innovation is iteration.

Your employees have to be encouraged that the first draft is not the final draft. You need to be constantly iterating, constantly improving.

You need to be looking at a product or a service or an idea. And you can't be satisfied with the way that it comes out of your head. Because you've got to be working as like a collaborative team and you've got to be constantly iterating new versions of that idea.

Failing Forward

The fourth factor is failing forward. There's a great quote from Nelson Mandela, and the quote goes like this, "I never fail. I either win, or I learn."

That's the kind of attitude you need to foster within your organization.

Too many companies these days, too many mangers within companies, punish failure.

If someone takes a risk and the risk doesn't pan out then a manager can, either consciously or unconsciously and inadvertently, punish that failure because that employee took a risk and it didn't pan out.

Now sure we may lose money on a particular initiative or we may lose money on a particular project. But if you channel your employees' and your teams' attitudes towards identifying what we learned from that failure then we can apply that towards a new innovation, towards the next iteration.

So failing forward and valuing failing forward in any organization is vital to fostering a culture of innovation.


Creativity is a vital element to fostering innovation within any organization and it builds on all of the factors that we've talked about before.

Because once you get your employees collaborating, once you encourage entrepreneurial thinking, once they get comfortable with iteration, and once they get comfortable with failing forward, then the creativity will come naturally to your employees.


Adaptability is also vital. Because, in order to innovate, your employees need to be able to to adapt to what's going on in the environment. They need to be able to adapt your product as it's moving forward through each iteration.

Cognitive Diversity

Cognitive Diversity within a team is super vital.

Now this is slightly different from something like "cultural diversity", because we're talking about different ways of thinking.

You may have people who are introverts versus extroverts, both are important on a team.

You need people who are good with the fine details and people who are good at seeing the big picture. These are all different ways of thinking and this kind of cognitive diversity is vital within any team.


Once you line up all seven of these factors within the innovation sphere, then you get to the eighth element which is imagination.

You get all of these factors firing on all cylinders and you are going to get your team working with imagination and bringing their imagination to every element of your business.

And that is how you fuel innovation.

So thanks for joining us today when we talked about the suite of cards within the innovation category.

We're going to be doing a series of these vlogs over the course of the ATB booster campaign.

Click on the link below to find out more. And I look forward to talking with you on our next vlog.