How to Drive Innovation in your Organization

How to Drive Innovation in your Organization

Saul Kaplan

Episode Summary

Today, we are living in a fast-paced world where everything is changing quickly. Business models don't last as long as they used to, and everyone knows this. We need to constantly reinvent ourselves for us to have any chance of succeeding. But driving change is not easy, especially for an organization operating the same way for a decade or more. Don't worry, Saul Kaplan, Founder and Chief Catalyst Business Innovation Factory, shares his three components of innovation that will help you reinvent you and your business. 

"Whether you wanted it to or not, reinvention becomes a really important life skill for people, organizations, and communities. People need to reinvent themselves because the way they are today is not the way they're going to be five years or 10 years from now." - Saul Kaplan

As an innovation junkie, Saul was always trying to innovate and make things better. And through his years of experience, he has developed his three steps to innovation. 

Human-centered Design 

The first step to any innovation is to imagine the future that you would like to achieve. One of the best ways to do this is to solve real-world problems centered around your customers, patients, students, etc. Learn to see the world through the lens of someone other than yourself or your company. Spend time understanding your customers and exercise empathy in the process. 

Rapid Prototyping

Now, we all know that change doesn't happen overnight. It takes a lot of patience and time. So you don't need to aim to achieve your goal immediately. You can start small and create a prototype of the solution for other people to see. If that is successful, you can slowly start adding more people to the equation to get more feedback as you scale. You can even involve these people in developing the solution because the best people to help architect a solution are the people with the problems. 

"Customer doesn't have to know what they want, but they know the problems that you're trying to solve. So when you present them with ideas of things that they could use, they sure know how to grab things and help them solve their problems" - Saul Kaplan.

Storytelling and Engagement

The last step is to develop a story that people can engage in and feel like they're a part of. According to Saul, nobody transforms anything without an emotional connection to the story that they can see themselves in. So it is crucial to involve everybody in the story. 

You need to have the ability to create the conditions for constant storytelling and to help people feel like they are storytellers. When you do that, they can start creating an emotional connection to a change process and help advocate for it, and bring other people along.


Driving change is not easy. But if you have the right solution to a real-world problem, if you engage people and make them feel like they are a part of creating that solution, things will be easier. They will create an emotional connection to that change process and bring other people to help advocate for it. 

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