Who killed innovation in your office?

Ckuedo

The mystery needs to be solved. Who killed innovation in your office?

The answer to this question has been baffling those in the know for years, but thankfully the game called Cluedo (aka as Clue in North America) provides any worthy innovation sleuth with the requisite key to solving this corporate whodunit.

For those who have played Cluedo, you will immediately recall that it involves the solving of a murder via the careful and repetitive questioning of your five fellow players, in the ten rooms they may have occupied, armed with the six weapons potentially used by the killer.

The killer is known to you, you just need to utilise the clues provided to identify them.

The Players (6):

  • Miss Scarlett (a person known for their cunningness, aka Sales)
  • Reverend Green (a person of the people, aka HR)
  • Colonel Mustard (a dapper individual, aka Marketing)
  • Professor Plum (known as the thinker, aka Technology)
  • Mrs Peacock (a person with dignity, aka Production)
  • Mrs White (known to be easily frazzled, aka Quality)

The Rooms (10):

  • Kitchen (a place where many sharp implements are located and hidden)
  • Elevator (a place of employee containment)
  • Bathroom (an unlimited source of water, paper and locked cubicles)
  • Office (a desk with many sharp corners)
  • Stationery Cabinet (a source of tape and other sticky items)
  • Meeting Room (contains projectors with high intensity lights and microphones ideal for interrogation)
  • Foyer (marbles floors on which any blood spills can be easily wiped)
  • Reception (individual security checks and photo identification)
  • CEO office (vast stocks of exotic beverages and other hidden stimulants)
  • Ideation Room (many soft beanbags and colourful crayons)

The Weapons (6):

  • Pen (an easily concealed pointy item)
  • Mug (contains hot liquid)
  • Biscuits (can stimulate excessive self pudgification)
  • Powerpoint Clicker (can be hurtled with high velocity)
  • Computer (can be short circuited to initiate the blue screen of doom)
  • Boring employee (can talk you to death)

The game now begins. You ask questions. Your work colleagues respond with the truth, or perhaps a white lie, but with dogmatic persistence, you all eventually come to the logical conclusion as to the identity of the innovation killer.

The room used by the killer may change, also the weapon and their identify from game to game. But, there is one constant variable that typifies all murderers of innovation. That variable is fear. Yes, fear to try different experiences, meet new people, or to fail when experimenting with a new concept. Should you encounter fear in your organisation, then confront it, call in your Innovation Audit Team to root it out before it contaminates and slowly kills any spark of creativity. Cluedo is indeed just a game, however, don’t let the character portrayed as fear loose in any part of your organisation as morbidity and decay will eventually prevail, and nobody wants that, do they?

 

The Corporate Cubby House

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Should you be the Chief Innovation Officer (CIO) of a large corporate organisation that has been tasked with the development of an innovation culture that is truly unique, and one that actually works, then just sit back in your comfortable, expensive leather desk chair as you already know the answer.

The solution is indeed simple. Just go back in time to when you were an adventurous, carefree and potentially naive eight year old who made a decision with your closest friends to build a cubby house.

In case the number of years from when you were eight has become slightly diminished with age, time, and tad too much requisite social sobriety, let me summarize the process that you may have followed.

The Plan
No, you did not have sufficient pocket money to engage a global consultancy organisation to make a vast array of recommendations for you, there were definitely no Powerpoint presentations, nor large committees, you and your mates just decided to do it.

The Selection Criteria
You looked upwards and identified the best tree that could provide you with sufficient height that your dog, little sister or brother, parents, and enemies could not physically assail without personal difficulty.  In CIO speak, these individuals could be classified as the competition.

Resources
This was your initial demonstration of innovation. At first glance, you had nothing, but with a bit of foraging through your parent’s workshops, gardens and potentially those of your neighbors (the term stealing never came into your vocabulary when you were eight), you had all that you required.

Construction
Yes, there was risk, there was failure, and some cuts and bruises, but with persistence you managed to build a structure way up high in the branches that met your immediate needs.

Evolution
As the cubby house fell apart with the passing of days, or as your group of trusted compatriots expanded in number, you found yourselves continually experimenting with new ideas, some driven by necessity (as the rain poured through an unsealed roof). However, the key is to remember how your innovation and creativity could never be extinguished, nor limited in any way, as there was always a solution to any problem.

Status Quo
Once the Cubby House had been in operation for a prescribed period of time (normally dictated by the end of the school holidays), you didn’t rest on your laurels, but you and your mates sought out other new and exciting challenges. You utilized your experience to build bigger and better structures, after all, you were eight, going on nine, and you had many ideas, and much mischief to make!
Now back to you, the CIO.

The solution: Just release those long standing corporate shackles of conservatism and visualize you at the age of eight, and all the innovation that you, and your organisation will ever need will be revealed.