Innovation Motivation (Episode 135)

Innovation Motivation (Episode 135)

Interview with Lars Bratthall, CIO at Multiconsult.


Innovation Motivation is a systematic way of thinking about how to build an organization full of people motivated to innovate.

All companies want innovation, but few companies actually think about what would make people want to innovate.

Perhaps the most important aspect for getting people to innovate is that they have “Innovation Motivation”.

I was inspired to think about Innovation Motivation during a conversation with Lars Bratthall . Lars has a long career in innovation, from ABB Corporate Research, DNV Research and Innovation etc and now as CIO at Multiconsult. (Multiconsult is one of the leading firms of architects, consulting engineers, and designers in Norway, with roots dating back to 1908.)

He has worked for organizations with very innovative people and companies where innovation hardly happened. His insight is that the companies where innovation thrived understood the concept of “Innovation Motivation.”

One such place was ABB Corporate Research. Lars: “At ABB (at the time) they understood that you need to support creativity for it to happen.”

The concept of Innovation Motivation is simple:

1) People will not innovate if they are not motivated to be creative.

2) Different people are motivated by different things.

3) The leaders who figure out what specific things motivate their people will get more innovation.

4) Unfortunately, most leaders are not spending enough time to think about Innovation Motivation.

If you have a leadership which is focused on understanding what structures, incentives, activities and processes that will motivate people to innovate in their unique culture and environment, then your innovation will thrive.

And the key to Innovation Motivation is to understand that different people are motivated by different things.

If you want the organization to be motivated to innovate, it’s not enough to figure out what motivates the people in the organization. Generally, you need to look at each unique individual and figure out what could motivate them.

Is it fame and recognition? Is it money? Is it the thrill of creating new things in a group? Is it revenge?

Few things are more powerful than a motivated person.

So figure out which “buttons” to press for people to be motivated to innovate and the rest will, almost, take care of itself.

What motivates your people to innovate? What could make them more motivated to innovate?

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