Innovation: Top-down or Bottoms-up?
(From Mitch Barn’s Blog)
Curtis Carlson is the CEO of SRI International (SRI stands for “Stanford Research Institute”). Here is what he was quoted as saying recently about the comparison between “bottom up” innovation vs. “top down” innovation:
“Innovation that happens from the bottom up tends to be chaotic but smart. Innovation that happens from the top down tends to be orderly but “dumb”. On balance, the sweet spot* for innovation today is moving down, not up.”
His thought seems relevant to Nielsen’s recent “Emerging Product Ideas” contest, which opens up the opportunity for everyone … anyone … in the company to put forward an idea for a new product innovation. More than 100 people in Greater China submitted their ideas, and most of these came from people who are not yet to the “manager” level in our organization. In other words, a lot of “bottoms up” innovation.
If you did not submit an idea to the Emerging Product Ideas contest, that is OK. It is not your only way to get involved in bottoms up innovation. In fact, we don’t want bottoms up innovation to occur only when we have a contest. Instead, we want it to become part of every-day life for Nielsen in Greater China. The opportunity is always out there for you to imagine how something could be made better, to create something new, to propose a change… Don’t rely on the senior managers to have all of the ideas. To be at our best, we need ideas and innovation from all points in our team. And as Curtis Carlson says above, winning organizations are relying on bottoms-up innovation more and more.
What is your next idea?
Curtis Carlson 是 SRI International的 CEO (SRI 表示“斯坦福研究所”)。以下引用了他最近说的关于“自下而上”和“自上而下”的创新方式比较：
他的想法和Nielsen最近“Emerging Product Ideas”评比不谋而合，给每一个人，任何一个人一个公平的机会来表达自己对于新产品创新的想法。大中华区有超过100位同事提交了自己的想法，并且其中很大一部分是在这个组织中还未达到经理级别的同事。总之，是许多“自下而上”的创新。
如果你还没有提交“Emerging Product Ideas”评比的想法，也没关系。这不是你参与到这个自下而上的创新的唯一途径。相反我们更希望这能成为Nielsen大中华区日常工作的一部分。你始终有这个机会可以去想象如何让一些事情变得更好，或者创造一些新的东西，或者提议做一些改变……不要依赖高层经理来给所有的想法。要做到最好，我们就需要来自团队中所有角落的点子。并且就像Curtis Carlson在上述说得那样，越是成功的组织越是依靠“自下而上”的创新方式。