The Real Way to Increase Innovation: Safi Bahcall’s Loonshots Profiled in Forbes
In his groundbreaking book Loonshots, former biotech entrepreneur Safi Bahcall uses science to explain why organizations become risk-averse as they grow, how we can combat the urge to play it safe, and the real way to stoke innovation within a company.
“Established companies rarely seem to produce innovative leaps,” writes acclaimed business author Roger Dooley in Forbes. “No taxi company invented Uber. No hotel chain invented Airbnb.” The moral of Dooley’s story is that oftentimes leaders think of innovation as a way to improve an existing product or service, rather than an opportunity to disrupt. To remedy the problem, he turns to Safi Bahcall’s Loonshots: an innovation playbook that illustrates how the structure of a company can affect its growth potential.
“If you reward rank, you’re going to get a political culture. If you celebrate intelligent risk taking and ideas, you’re going to get an innovative culture,” Bahcall explained on Dooley’s podcast Brainfluence. “No amount of asking people to sing kumbaya or hold hands, or watch two hour movies about brotherhood is really going to change culture very much. But a small change in structure can do it.”
The incentives of an organization essentially determines what it values. By incentivising innovation over rank, you will foster a culture of creative risk-taking, rather than the usual business conservativism, says Bahcall. And in Loonshots, he shows you, step-by-step, how to do it.
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