October 06, 2010
Create an Innovation Portfolio

One of the biggest obstacles to innovation in most organizations is the addiction to short-term results.

Hustling, speed, and fire fighting rule the day -- resulting in the kind of over-caffeinated efforts that make everyone cranky.

Focusing on your next quarter, of course, is a necessary part of business. But not to the exclusion of the long-term.

Someone's got to focus on projects that won't see the light of day for tree years... or five .... or ten.

If you are serious about innovation, you will need to develop an Innovation Portfolio, one that includes short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals.

Innovation doesn't happen quickly. It takes time.

If you plant an apple seed today, you're not going to get an apple harvest tomorrow... or next week... or next year. Pulling on the seedling or yelling at the tree to deliver apples faster isn't going to work.

Here's an exercise to create your Innovation Portfolio:

1. Define "short-term," "mid-term," and "long-term."
2. Make three columns, headed by each of the phrases above
3. Jot down projects that fit into these three "time horizons."
4. Present this list to your team and get their feedback.
5. Tweak the list as needed.

And now for a related joke...

So there are these three yogis meditating in a cave. They've been there ten years -- in silence the entire time.

One day, in the tenth year of their retreat, an albino mountain lion makes his way to the mouth of the cave and lets out an earth-shattering roar.

Five years pass.

The first yogi says "WOW!"

Another five years pass.

The second yogi, says, "Yeah, I know what you mean."

Five more years pass.

"HEY! If you guys don't shut up," says the third yogi, "I'm moving to another cave."



Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at October 6, 2010 09:37 AM

Post a comment

Thanks for signing in, . Now you can comment. (sign out)

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

Remember me?

Who Are We?

Idea Champions is a consulting and training company dedicated to awakening and nurturing the spirit of innovation. We help individuals, teams and entire organizations tap into their innate ability to create, develop and implement ideas that make a difference.

Click here for the simplest, most direct way, to learn more about Idea Champions' semi-fearless leader, Mitch Ditkoff. Info on his keynotes, workshops, conferences, and more.
Storytelling for the Revolution
Storytelling for the Revolution is Mitch Ditkoff's newly published book about the power of personal storytelling to elevate the conversation on planet Earth. Provocative. Evocative. And fun. YOU have stories to tell. This book will help you tell them.
Storytelling at Work
"The world is not made of atoms," wrote the poet, Muriel Rukeyser. "It's made of stories." Learn how to discover, honor, and unpack the stories of yours that show up "on the job" in Mitch Ditkoff's award-winning 2015 book, Storytelling at Work.
Top 5 Speaker
Mitch Ditkoff, the Co-Founder and President of Idea Champions, has recently been voted a top 5 speaker in the field of innovation and creativity by Speakers Platform, a leading speaker's bureau.
Authorized Reseller Logo – GoLeanSixSigma.com
Workshops & Trainings
Highly engaging learning experiences that increase each participant's ability to become a creative force for positive change
Brainstorm Facilitation
High impact certification training that teaches committed change agents how to lead groundbreaking ideation sessions
Cultivating Innovation
Your "best and brightest" are the future leaders of your company, but unless they know how to foster a culture of innovation, their impact will be limited. A one-day workshop with us is all they need to begin this journey.
Our Blog Cabin
Our Heart of Innovation blog is a daily destination for movers and shakers everywhere — gleefully produced by our President, Mitch Ditkoff, voted "best innovation blogger in the world" two years running.
Team Innovation
Innovation is a team sport. Brilliant ideas go nowhere unless your people are aligned, collaborative, and team-oriented. That doesn't happen automatically, however. It takes intention, clarity, selflessness, and a new way of operating.
Awake at the Wheel, Book about big ideas If you're looking for a powerful way to jump start innovation and get your creative juices flowing, Awake at the Wheel is for you. Written by Mitch Ditkoff, Co-Founder and President of Idea Champions.
Face the Music Blues Band The world's first interactive business blues band. A great way to help your workforce go beyond complaint.

"In tune with corporate America." — CNN