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Are you ready to innovate? An innovation readiness checklist.

how to be innovative innovation tips leadership Apr 21, 2019
Are you ready to innovate? Karen Tilstra shares an innovation readiness checklist.

Are you and your company ready to innovate?? The answer better be yes because disruption is here. Don’t believe me? Just ask your next taxi Uber driver.

Innovation is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity. It’s the only pathway for an organization to stay alive and thrive. This isn’t news to you. Research from Harvard and McKinsey shares that more than 90% of leaders list innovation as a top priority but less than 20% claim they actually know to make innovation a reality.

So as a leader how ready are you to innovate?

Three Questions You Need To Ask

Assess your innovation readiness with these three questions.

  1. Are leaders engaging you in conversations about innovation?

  2. Are you or your boss held responsible for innovation?

  3. Are you provided innovation training and resources to innovate?


As you ask these questions, it's crucial you not only ask your direct team. But that you also schedule time to talk with frontline staff, administrative assistants, tech support, and those working directly with customers.

What's Next?

Now that you've gone out and asked these questions, what do you do next? To bring clarity to your discoveries, I suggest you do the following:

  • Analyze the answers - - What were the most common responses? What insight really stood out?

  • Share findings with your direct team and capture their reactions - - Were they surprised? Were they resistant to new insight? How did they add to the conversation?

  • Create opportunities for future discussion - - Follow up with some of the team members you initially spoke with. And expand the conversation by inviting more people to give feedback.

Whatever your next steps are, the most important thing to do is to keep an open heart, open mind, and open will. 

A Better Future

So there you have it. Three questions to take a quick temperature on how ready your company is to innovate. Remember, assessment can be simple. It doesn’t have to cost much. Start asking questions because after all, a better future starts with asking questions.


Keep inspiring creativity,

- Karen


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