Autumn is making its presence felt. The leaves are turning colour – there are already some glorious reds and golds in our village – the days are shortening and the evenings are noticeably cooler.

In our garden, though, one thing is different from other autumns: our lawn is covered in acorns. I don’t mean a few acorns, I’m talking about thousands of them. Yesterday, I was out unsuccessfully trying to collect them, but as I put some into a bin, more were dropping teasingly to the ground.

Apparently, this is a ‘mast year’ when trees produce a super-bumper crop of fruits and nuts. The theory is that they do this so that there is far more fruit than the local wildlife could possibly need, ensuring that some of the seeds will start to grow.

It’s the same with innovation. In my new white paper, Fixing The Innovation Gap, I quote Bob Sutton of Stanford University, whose research has shown that it takes over 4,000 raw ideas to generate just two or three commercial successes.

The challenge for business leaders who want to accelerate innovation – i.e. virtually every business leader! – is therefore to develop a system that generates, tests, improves, culls, launches and improves thousands of ideas a year. Not a few ideas, or even dozens of them, but literally thousands of them.

How does your business compare? What are the numbers of new ideas that you are consistently developing and working on across your organization? If you are falling short of the level required, please feel free to download my white paper to start the process of improvement.

And if you want a place to start your innovation efforts, I’m in the market for something that will quickly and efficiently collect fallen acorns!

Off The Record: Come On/Let’s Go by Paul Weller

We’re planting up the acorns, wondering to where they’ll lead

We’re planting up the acorns, wondering to where they’ll seed

Come on baby let’s go

You say where to – I say I don’t know

Fixing The Innovation Gap

Though 80% of CEOs believe innovation is critical to their organisation’s success, only 6% are satisfied with what’s being delivered. Fixing The Innovation Gap gives you practical steps to improve your organisation’s ability to develop and run an innovation system that works.

© Stuart Cross 2020. All rights reserved.