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August 24, 2016

‘Likeminded’ is killing innovation

Lately, the term likeminded has appeared around the web and work-life. Often the discussion brings with it positivity and the promise of creating a better work environment. In a professional context, likeminded refers to people with similar work industry, stage of startup, goals, working methods, and more.

Few mention the complexity of the term and tend to forget its drawbacks, discouraging diverse thinking and transformational innovation.


Google trends search term likeminded


Understanding different types of innovation

Before moving on, it’s important to understand the different areas of innovation we’re discussing. Monitor’s co-partners Bansi Nagji and Geoff Tuff have published a Harvard business paper “managing your innovation portfolio“, they dictate that business innovation falls into 3 areas.

Core – Optimising what you currently have for current customers (i.e faster communication with customers).

Adjacent – New feature to your existing business (i.e sign up with Facebook).

Transformational – Creating breakthrough markets that are yet unknown to you and your customers.

Every company working towards innovation can usually categorise their efforts into these 3 areas. As an example, Larry Page told fortune magazine that they strive for a 70-20-10 balance. To be clear, the right balance will vary from company to company according to multiple factors. For instance, early stage startups would put more effort into transformational innovation before developing the core. But as Google covers multiple industries you can refer to it as an average.


Person googling how to grow


Transformational innovation thrives in the unknown. In fact, this is where the benefits of diverse thinking are most prominent. Different backgrounds, expertise, and experience help uncover a non-visible entity.

Companies strive to reach the goal of diversity in the workplace. And yet, we still forget its importance, and how we can use it to further push creativity and innovation. It is important to understand that transformational innovation feeds off creativity and curiosity to uncover social needs.

Let’s not forget the benefits of a likeminded work circle

Core and Adjacent innovation practice basic growth hacking skills, prototyping, testing, feedback, and learning. It mainly revolves around analytical skills. A likeminded environment, shaped correctly offers the organisation to tap into colleague’s skills, ideas, and learnings to create iterative solutions.

To conclude, managing innovation is a steep learning curve for companies to adapt. Most of all, it’s about supporting a culture that communicates clearly and repeatedly its innovation goals. To clarify, we’re all for likeminded communities and workspaces, just do not neglect the power of diverse thinking. 

Would you like to create a foundation for innovation? We love bringing people together through our programme and elevate competences.

Author | Max Less

Digital is my passion. I love coding and all things geeky, less is more.

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