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Brain circuits

Four key steps to accelerate innovation in an age of disruption

Published 28 June 2021 in Brain circuits ‚ÄĘ 2 min read

To become more flexible and respond faster to shifting dynamics in complex environments and prioritize challenges, you must accelerate your innovation while building critical capabilities for the future. This requires organizations to create the space for asking questions and conduct rapid experimentation and testing of hypotheses.  

I have identified four key steps companies need to take to ensure they are accelerating their innovation processes.  

Focus on what matters: You must home in on the problem to bring the speed at the end and put constraints on where your energy is going to be able to move efficiently at scale. break down the themes and the areas of change into real problem statements. These need to be compelling and specific statements that focus on one thing only.

Take an inclusive approach to innovation. You need to democratize innovation. Leverage the collective intelligence of stakeholders: this means your employees but also outside the company as well. Today lines between companies and industries are blurring and we are thinking much more in ecosystems.  Changes and new strategies shouldn’t just come from the top anymore. You need to leverage the power, knowledge and ideas of your complete workforce if you are going to innovate fast. You cannot afford to leave any resources untapped. When you are changing you must engage and bring people along with you. This requires an inclusive strategy. If people haven’t been included, it is much harder to get their support. 

Move at speed. You need to leverage whatever technology is available to you. Your ultimate success will not be defined by the ideas you generate, but by the speed of your execution.

Culture is king. Innovation is a social phenomenon, so it is important to focus on your environment. The best practice to cultivate this is to worship curiosity. Make curiosity the core value within your organization.  

Evaluate your company to see if you are embracing these steps, and you will find yourself on the road to rapid change. 

If you are interested in learning more about this topic,¬†explore¬†the‚ÄĮprogram “Lead at the speed of change with OWP¬†liVe,” beginning 29 June 2021.¬†



Louise Muhdi

Louise Muhdi

Affiliate Professor of Innovation and Strategy at IMD

Louise Muhdi is Affiliate Professor of Innovation and Strategy. She helps organizations adapt to uncertain and fast-changing business environments, drive innovation and growth, and sustain value creation for the long term. She has an MSc in biology and a PhD in technology and innovation management from ETH Z√ľrich, Switzerland. Prior to joining IMD in 2019, Muhdi was Head of Innovation Strategy and Portfolio for Global Science and Technology at Givaudan International where she developed the global innovation strategy and implemented multiple strategic initiatives to drive short, mid, and long-term growth. She also spent several years in the pharmaceutical industry.


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