10 Tips for Creating Distinct-but-Linked Innovation Groups – Vijay Govindarajan – Harvard Business Review

Here are ten tips to nurture a strong partnership between innovators and the core business:

  1. Articulate a motivating vision of victory in which both the dedicated team and the performance engine win.
  2. Highlight the reality that the dedicated team and the performance engine are mutually dependent.
  3. Create a common enemy: the competition.
  4. Reinforce the values that the dedicated team and the performance engine share, even if they are simple and universal values, like a commitment to integrity.
  5. Make the division of responsibilities between the dedicated team and the performance engine as clear as possible.
  6. Anticipate resource constraints created when the shared staff must simultaneously handle the demands of innovation and ongoing operations.
  7. Gather data to understand whether fears about cannibalization are valid or unfounded.
  8. Alter incentives. Specifically evaluate “ability to collaborate across organizational boundaries” on performance reviews.
  9. Use influential and collaborative insiders at points of interaction between the dedicated team and the shared staff.
  10. When the innovation initiative succeeds, share credit liberally, with both the dedicated team and the shared staff.

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