Drawing on my work with dozens of leading technology organizations for inspiration, I have synthesized three keys to encouraging innovation and growth. I call these Shlomo’s Keys to Technology Innovation. They are meaning, creativity, and habits.
Connect the work people do with the values they personally identify with. People change only when they see meaning in their efforts to do so.
Jody Mulkey, CTO of Ticketmaster, exemplifies this. In the introduction to his talk at DevOps Enterprise Summit 2015, Jody shows how he personally identifies with Ticketmaster’s mission—to connect fans to live experiences—and how this fuels his passion for improving Ticketmaster’s technology.
As Jody demonstrates, driving change doesn’t begin with providing a reason, but by connecting to the values that the person holds dear. That is, meaning.
Enable people to tap into their innate fountains of energy in pursuit of the meaning they seek. There are two aspects to enabling creativity: Helping people discover their creative energy, and establishing a fertile environment for its expression. Curiosity is the key to identifying your personal creativity catalyst. Do your talented people know their curiosity? Do your talented people pursue their curiosity within the parameters of their work, or despite their work? Get these two aspects of your organization right, or your talented people will leave for more creative pastures.
Establish those regular routines that support the pursuit of your goal. We all want to become more intelligent and successful overnight, and we also want to sleep soundly that same night. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Habits both simultaneously create the granite rock face of the status quo and serve as the drops of water that wear it away over time. Just as the rock face was built up gradually over a long time, significant change can only be effected through repeated, dedicated, accumulated small efforts.