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"IN-novation"
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How to Build the 100-Year Company - Michigan Steelcase, Ideas & Endless Innovation

How to Build the 100-Year Company - Michigan Steelcase, Ideas  &  Endless Innovation | "IN-novation" | Scoop.it

"Steelcase, the long-time maker of innovative workplace furniture, celebrated its 100th anniversary this year, and defines itself not as an office furniture company, rather as a company of ideas."

 

Catch a company that does it right.  Besides IBM and several other rare centarians, Steelcase stands out, in Michigan, in particular.

 

Excerpted:

 

The 100-year company is the rarest of all organizations in Corporate America – a survivor of multiple business cycles, the appearance of radically disruptive technologies and the changing tastes of entirely different generations.

 

In Michigan. Steelcase, doesn't define itself as an office furniture company, but rather, as a company of ideas:

 

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"Companies don't survive for a century, ideas do."

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(Fittingly, Steelcase is a sponsor of the TED Conference). The company, which began by making steel metal wastebaskets back in 1912, thrived during the great post-war Baby Boomer work generation that saw the transition to fixed workplaces and the rise of the modern cubicle worker.

 

Jim Hackett, the CEO of Steelcase, uses a deceptively simple idea to guide the company in this transition to a new mobile economy. He refers to this Big Idea as the movement from the "I/Fixed" paradigm to the "We/Mobile" paradigm.

 

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Steelcase is no longer selling products, it is selling experiences.

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Companies are shifting away from fixed office environments to mobile, collaborative workforces and flexible workspace arrangements that go beyond desks and chairs.

 

One of the company's recently launched product lines is media:scape, which is essentially a blend of furniture and technology to create collaborative workplace environments. At a certain level, Steelcase is no longer selling products, it is selling experiences.

 

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how [will] mobile change everything about your industry?

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So how do you build the next 100-year company? You first need to ask yourself how the ascendance of mobile will change everything about your industry.

 

Just as Steelcase got its start making metal wastebaskets, the next 100-year-company may be currently engaged in the creation of something so mundane, yet so practical, that we may not know how to recognize it yet as a future innovator.

 

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Via Deb Nystrom, REVELN
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Rescooped by Robin Martin from Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend?
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A Pulp Innovation & Change Chapter: The Innovation Plan includes the Return of Status Quo

A Pulp Innovation & Change Chapter: The Innovation Plan includes the Return of Status Quo | "IN-novation" | Scoop.it

"Pushing an innovation plan forward?  Here comes the first major obstacle instead of a much-needed catalyst, for the rapid plummet to the bottom, roller coaster style in this 'pulp innovation' chapter change story."

 

This innovation series includes a set of chapter pulp fiction stories, complete with cliff hangers, setting up a series of cautionary tales of how to create innovation as a sustainable, repeatable business process.  

 

This episode of Jeffrey Phillips's series involves the destablization of those leading change to an innovation culture.  Enter the other staff manager with enough “bandwidth” to actively participate, which means those not senior enough to speed the work.

 

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The annual planning cycle, that recurring monster better known ...as the idea killing process...with no ambiguity and no room for error.

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Excerpts:

 

After the usual pleasantries, Susan and I set out an ambitious plan to build an innovation team, encourage incremental and disruptive innovation throughout the organization and start building innovation communities...

 

...it seemed that everyone else had a different perspective or intent for our project.

 

“Great. Do you think we can have new products in the pipeline so we can get budgets in place during the annual planning cycle?”

 

The annual planning cycle, that recurring monster better known to innovation experts as the idea killing process. There’s no business process or decision making apparatus less welcoming to innovation than the annual planning process, a place where great ideas go to die.

 

...A rigid, microscopically managed process with no ambiguity and no room for error. ...While the revenue numbers may be a bit inflated and fanciful, the projects that get approved go under a ROI microscope, which inevitably means that many innovative ideas are rejected.

 

By the end of our first meeting I’d reached the bottom of the roller coaster. ...Even though we had open channels to Brockwell, I didn’t think it would matter. ...

 

Perhaps we should recruit Mr. Kasamis.”  “Doug Kasamis, the chairman?” ...if he is willing, he could rally most of the organization to a significant change.”

 

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Via Deb Nystrom, REVELN
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