What would Apple do?

The Community of Practicing Innovators on the pursuit of innovation in our own organisations.

Or what would Toyota, Google or even IKEA do? These questions were asked during another fruitful get-together of The Spindle Community of Practising Innovators. Every other month, innovation facilitators from 14 NGOs in the Netherlands gather to share best practices and dive into a challenging case of one of their organisations. The case always revolves around the question: How to facilitate the pursuit of innovation in our own organisations?

During this sunny afternoon session, the group focused on how to stimulate other organizations to pursue innovation. The sector knows many forms of complex structures between organisations: partnerships, multi-organisational alliances or other forms of cooperation. What to do when you and your organization stand alone in prioritizing innovation but need the support of others to make it happen?

The Innovation Maze
Matthijs Nederveen from Light for the World triggered the minds by guiding the participants through the Innovation Maze . In this frame, challenges and common pitfalls related to innovation are presented as dead-ends or obstacles. This helped the participants to identify the fundamental challenges in the case: innovation is not always a priority, sometimes organizations work too independently and often organizations do the talking, not the walking.

A coalition of the willing
After this inventorisation, the group approached the problem from the perspective of a large corporation or institution such as Google or IKEA. What would they do? The community of practicing innovators came up with concrete initiatives to tackle the case: form a coalition of the willing, try to merge the goals of innovation with other goals that usually are more prioritized or identify the interests of other organisations to stimulate innovation.

Come together and move forward
The last suggestion for tackling this case was to connect on a personal, informal level with other people who are (not yet) interested in innovation. Essentially, the group suggested to follow their own format: get a room, open up for new insights and stay eager to try new things.

Is the word ‘innovation’ on your business card or in your professional genes, do you work for a Dutch NGO and do you feel the need to exchange best practices? There are a few spots left in the group. Contact jesse@partos.nl for more info!


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