When it comes to something as predictable as innovation (especially corporate innovation!), we already have the knowledge to craft a one-size-fits-all solution for every company to use. Trust us, it works. We locked ourselves in a room and wrote this 32 step list for you to implement at your organization. Follow these steps, and all you have to do next is figure out how to spend that fat bonus check that is sure to follow.

lean startup

  1. Start an accelerator.
  2. Buy hoodies for everyone in the accelerator! Click To Tweet
  3. Do a “find-and-replace” for the word “strategy” and replace it with “innovation thesis.”
    success story
  4. Anytime anyone on your team uses the word prototype, correct them with “MVP.”
  5. Have the CEO talk about failure without actually admitting failure.
  6. Create a stage gate corporate innovation process for the accelerator, but call it “metered funding.”
  7. Rename the accelerator into an incubator.
  8. Have the CEO talk about failure without actually admitting failure.
  9. Hire a consultant. And while you’re at it, hire another one.
  10. Hire a Vice President of Innovation to oversee the incubator, but under no circumstances hire a President of corporate Innovation.
  11. Drop the phrase “Innovation Ecosystem” into random sentences. E.g. “The coffee makes for a great innovation ecosystem.”
  12. Fire the consultant. And while you’re at it, fire the other one too.
  13. Rename the incubator an Idea Lab.
    Idea lab
  14. Underfund the Idea Lab. It increases creative pressure.
  15. Refuse to continue funding products from the Idea Lab because they don’t align to strategy. When asked what the strategy is, create a distraction and run.
  16. Now that the Idea Lab is up and running, create an Innovation Ecosystem consisting of two high potential employees and an intern.
  17. Run a hackathon – no wait…make it an idea jam.
  18. Change the floor plan in your office from cubicles to an open layout.
  19. Assign all innovation team members to a minimum of 6 business-as-usual projects because “innovation is everyone’s job.”
  20. Ensure that all workplaces are ergonomically optimized by using copies of the Lean Startup to adjust the height of everyone’s computer monitors. Click To Tweet
  21. Buy a lot of LEGOs.
  22. Change the open floor layout by building cubicles out of lego and insist it increases productivity. Click To Tweet
  23. Make sure all the office walls are covered in important looking post it notes. Click To Tweet
  24. Organize a safari to Silicon Valley. Wear hats and bring sunscreen.
  25. Create a canvas. Insist that it is better than the Business Model Canvas.
  26. Hire a different consultant.
  27. Talk about embracing a culture of failure, then fail at embracing a culture of failure. Repeat Step 27 if necessary. Click To Tweet
  28. Test all ideas in one week with a design sprint. Don’t allow any extensions. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day, but but they probably could’ve done it in a week if they tried harder.
  29. Implement a four year plan to get rid of four year business plans. Click To Tweet
  30. Go back to using the Business Model Canvas.
  31. Train innovation catalysts, but give them no projects to work on.
  32. Align the fiscal calendar with Eric Ries’ birthday. Click To Tweet
    corporate innovation
  33. And lastly, hire McKinsey. No one ever got fired for hiring McKinsey.

Lessons Learned

  • There are no lessons learned on April Fool’s Day.
  • There is no one true step by step process for innovation.

Thanks to contributions from Tendayi Viki and Nick Noreña on this post.

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