How to Avoid Innovation Theater with Tendayi Viki

How to Avoid Innovation Theater with Tendayi Viki
Daniel Elizalde

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Episode Details: How to avoid innovation theater with Tendayi Viki

In our conversation, we discuss what it takes to create a culture of innovation in established conversations, and the role product leaders play in driving that process. We also discuss the differences between making real progress vs. innovation theatre, the signs innovators should look for to know whether innovation has potential at their company, or if they should look for another job.

If you’re trying to drive innovation forward in your company, don’t miss out on this insightful discussion!

“Even large companies need to be able to innovate. And in order for them to innovate, they have to adopt start-up practices.” — Tendayi Viki.

About Tendayi Viki:

Tendayi is an Associate Partner at Strategyzer where he helps large companies innovate for the future while running their core business. He is also a contributor at Forbes and an Adjunct Faculty at the University of Kent.

He was previously Director of Product Lifecycle at Pearson (an FTSE100 global education company), a Managing Partner at Benneli Jacobs and Company, an Associate Partner at EYBOX Lean Innovation Coach at GlobalPETS Community.

Topics We Discuss in this Episode:

  • Tendayi Viki’s career background and his current role at Strategyzer
  • About his book, Pirates In The Navy, and the key lessons it shares
  • What is causing the need for organizations to focus on innovation now more than ever?
  • What innovation theatre is and how to recognize it
  • What the goals should look like for large organizations when it comes to innovation
  • How to avoid innovation theatre and make real progress through innovation
  • Tendayi’s advice for innovators working with their leaders to achieve strategic alignment within the organization
  • How to pitch innovation to leadership
  • The importance of having a shared language within your organization
  • How to create a culture of innovation so that innovation can thrive within your organization
  • Building innovation vs. building a culture of innovation
  • How to create real value through innovation
  • The difference between building processes at scale vs. building innovations
  • How to know whether innovation has potential at a certain company or if you should look for another job

Product Leader Tips of the Week:

If you are a product leader who is not gaining traction with innovation, you may be one of two options:

1) You’re in a desert (i.e., there’s not a single person in your company that is interested in innovation at all). If this is the case, you should find another place to work. 

2) You have decided to do the wrong thing first. If you are arguing with the leaders in your organization that are not early adopters of the innovation, it won’t work.

In most organizations, there are always at least a few leaders who really “get it.” You need to identify those early adopters and work with those people first. If you work with them first, you’ll be able to do one of the most important things in a transformation: get an early win. This credibility opens up many doors.

To Learn More About Tendayi Viki:

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