Gartner Research

The Psychology of Serial Innovation

Published: 01 March 2013

ID: G00250852

Analyst(s): Jackie Fenn, Mary Mesaglio

Summary

Innovators are not necessarily born that way; they can be made if given the right psychological boosts from their leaders. By applying psychology, leaders can gain the edge needed for successful serial innovation — that is, innovation that occurs repeatedly in an enterprise.

Table Of Contents

Foreword

Executive Summary

  • The biggest barriers to innovation are psychological
  • Stimulate people to innovate with the psychology of motivation
  • Keep innovation going with the psychology of momentum
  • Adopt a psychology action plan for innovation success

The Biggest Barriers to Innovation are Psychological

  • Innovation and psychology are intimately linked
  • People are natural innovators, but only under the right circumstances
  • The psychological factors most important to innovation are also those that leaders can influence
  • Practice the psychology of motivation and momentum

Stimulate People to Innovate With the Psychology Of Motivation

  • Motivating innovation requires purpose, expectations, security and identity
  • Purpose: Choose a goal and make it provocative
  • Case Study: RHB Bank adopts a mindset of speed to make “instant banking” a reality
  • Case Study: The Toronto Transit Commission innovates with a purpose
  • Expectations: Tell your people you expect them to innovate, and show that you mean it
  • Security: Make the environment safe for people to be creative and take a risk
  • Case Study: InsuranceCo finds value in every innovative idea
  • Identity: Make innovation a point of pride by appealing to group and individual aspirations
  • Case Study: Chip Heath, coauthor of “Switch,” on the power of identity
  • Tactics and best practices to improve motivation

Keep Innovation Going With the Psychology of Momentum

  • Innovation momentum requires attention, habit, engagement and community
  • Attention: Design momentum psychology into your innovation process
  • Habit: Make innovation routine
  • Engagement: Make innovation 10 times easier and more fun than anything else
  • Case Study: Boa Vista Serviços maintains momentum with virtual currency
  • Community: Make innovation go viral
  • Tactics and best practices to improve momentum

Adopt a Psychology Action Plan for Innovation Success

  • Take the first step
  • Apply innovation psychology to common problems as they arise
  • Conclusion

Further Reading

  • Related content
  • Gartner Executive Programs reports
  • Core research
  • Books
  • Articles

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