Innovation – How do You Enable Techies to Innovate?

Innovation is a key strategy to win with customers for several of the companies I work with. It’s a quite a successful strategy for technology and non-technology companies alike. Think of Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, Apple, Amazon, Travelocity or even Frito-Lay, Pepsi, P&G, etc. Their thought leadership translates directly to market share and successful growth.

Many of my customers (and Microsoft) are now recognizing that Innovation can happen across the company, not just inside an R&D organization. Engaging the entire company allows them to harvest the creative energy together product and domain knowledge of their own engineering teams to develop new features, products or entire businesses. Aside from that it’s a great tool for employee satisfaction if you allow them to pursue their passions once in a while.

For example:

Google’s 20% rule is famous,

Yahoo’s hackdays for example have gotten broad attention,

eBay is talking about their infrastructure to experiment,

Microsoft is building an Experimentation Platform for web applications.

Just like for any other part of the business, it’s important to treat Innovation as a process and support it with IT infrastructure to execute the process efficiently and cost effective.

I’ll be talking about these processes and the infrastructure at my interactive chalk talk ARC08-TLC at TechEd Developers on Tuesday June 3rd noon-1:00pm. If you have any questions or successful practices from your organization to share, please shoot me a note, post a comment, or come by my session.

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