What do you use to introduce others to innovation?

[Originally published on the Australian Government Public Sector Innovation Network under a Creative Commons 3.0 BY AU licence]

Imagine you’ve got the opportunity to talk to someone senior in your organisation about innovation, but they don’t know much about it – what would you use to introduce them to the subject?

This person might appreciate why innovation is important – most senior officials in the public service will be only too aware of the drivers for changing how many things are done.

They might also understand the concept broadly – in a time when innovation seems to be used in every third advertisement, pretty much everyone has at least a rough sense of the idea of innovation.

Many, if not most, will also have some personal experience in having implemented a new idea (whether theirs or someone else’s) – indeed, it may be one of the qualities that got them where they are.

Yet that doesn’t automatically mean that they will fully appreciate:

  • how they can best help others who are trying to innovate
  • what’s involved in supporting innovation across their organisation
  • the latest in what has been learnt about the process of innovation.

So how do you get people across the reality of innovation?

One option might be to provide them with some introductory materials. For instance, you could show them a video of Mark Randall talking about how Adobe funded 1000 experiments with their Kickbox initiative (H/t to @gquaggiotto):


Or you might show them this short video from Creative Innovation Global on future predictions toward 2020 to help give a sense of how quickly things are changing.

Or you might give them a copy of McKinsey’s “The eight essentials of innovation”, to introduce them to the basics of the innovation system within an organisation.

Of course, there are many other resources out there. What we want to know is what you have used/would use? What’s your favourite resource for helping give others a better appreciation of what’s involved with innovation (either doing it or supporting it)? It might be a video, a blog post, a book, an article or an activity.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or by emailing us.