Innovation's Secret Sauce -- Project-based Work (PBW)

Just completed two weeks of our Stanford Advanced Project Management (SAPM)( executive education at Stanford. Students from 6 continents and 25+ countries. The program is focused on improving the execution of strategy through project-based work (PBW).

One thing I consistently see missing in strategy and strategy execution discussions is this critical fact: Innovation requires PBW.  Note -- PBW includes are that work we think of as projects, programs, portfolios of projects and programs, initiatives, engagements. Basically anything that has a start and stop and is not on-going operations.

Innovation is the hot button but most leaders absolutely miss the point: ALL innovation requires project-based exceptions. I have studied extensively and found no examples where there was innovation without PBW.

How you plan and execute PBW is critical for successful innovation in ANY organization, whether a new start-up, a government agency, an NGO, or an established global business.

3 Questions @ Innovations and PBW

  1. Does you organization understand that innovation is driven by successful PBW?
  2. Do your innovation leaders know that innovation requires PBW?
  3. Is your innovation fully aligned with your organization's overall strategy?