Copycat Award: Madhabi Puri Buch, Executive Director, from ICICI Bank spoke about innovation management efforts at her organization. According to her, the topmost hurdle in keeping innovation going at ICICI is the “Not Invented Here (NIH)” syndrome. This mindset makes it difficult to implement an idea in one department when it has actually come from some other department. Well, this is what ICICI Bank has done. They have introduced a prestigious award called “Copycat award”. This award is given to the team which demonstrates successful implementation of an idea which has come from somewhere else.
Creativity and Execution: At the root of NIH mindset is the belief that “creativity” part of innovation is “cool” and “execution” is uncool. If I haven’t done the “cool” part, why should I do the “uncool” part? To quote Prof. Vijay Govindarajan from his book 10 Rules for Strategic Innovators: We think of organization’s capacity for innovation as the product of creativity and execution. Some quick math: which is more effective – lifting your creativity score from 6 to 7, or doubling your execution score from 1 to 2? Nonetheless, most companies, when hoping to improve innovation, focus on generating ideas. Managers obsess over the front end of the innovation. But the real leverage is in the backend – in execution. It is not the idea that counts; it is what you do with it.
Well, how about copying the “copycat award” process to begin with?