Mitchell DeVillier

Ruckusmaker

39

12

In-Teams -- unleashing innovation inside organizations

Hello everyone!

My name is Mitch and here's my story: I may have had the title "national account rep" but I was there at street level when the ads I was selling stopped returning my client's investment. I could no longer sell something I didn't believe in and made the decision to leave that world. After thrashing about a few years, it was a godsend to stumble upon Seth's work and find an explanation as to why and how the economy had changed.

My project is called "In-Teams." The idea is that while all the talent and creativity they need is sitting right under their roofs, today's organizations are instead either flirting with extinction by not innovating at all OR spending incredible amounts of money purchasing innovation through acquisition. The root of the problem is clear: Companies exalted obedience and loyalty over creativity and expression for so long that the "innovation muscles" inside their workers have atrophied.  

Q: How did 15,000 Nokia employees lose their jobs last year?  A: Doing exactly what they were told.

I believe today's abbreviated product lifecycles mean companies should be lining up their next innovation even as they unleash their current one and my project is an organization that teaches them how:

(1) Companies would put together a 4-6 person team of heretics ('sheeple' need not apply.)  The team would consist of one person in every company department needed to bring off a soft innovation who would then nominate one person among them to lead and to serve as a liason to their In-Team mentor.

(2) I would offer the team a Connection Economy (CE) marketing crash course. The word "crash" in there is a bit of marketing on my part; in fact, I have distilled 10 or so of Seth's books into a 16-unit mini-course with a quiz every 4 units = a 20-unit, 2-week "crash" course.

(3) At course completion, we'd get to work creating a "Pink Porpoise," my version of a Purple Cow: "There may be a million fish in the sea but even the most jaded sailor takes notice of a Pink Porpoise."

(4) Once-trained, these "disciples" (I need a better name) would then initiate others within their organization and the cycle would continue.

Here are a few of the challenges I see so far and I'd appreciate your input:

(a) How to market this? To C-level people as a "low risk, high reward" project? To HR departments as "employee development"? Ultimately, the decision to start and fund an In-Team will be made by Factory-trained execs who won't understand this is not a Junior Achievement project and don't realize I'll be making full-fledged heretics out of their employees already leaning that way. Should I underplay these facts?

(b) What do I charge? This is not traditional consulting and the innovations could potentially be worth millions. Should I charge companies a base fee and then a percentage (1 or 2 points) of the revenue the In-Team innovation generates?

(c) How do I ensure team members are fairly compensated? This is outside the box and outside of a typical job descriptions. (That's why I think employees will leap at the opportunity.) There are licensing agreements out there but traditional licensing deals are 5-7% of sales. I was thinking each team member gets a point for their participation, leaving one extra point to the MVP of the team decided by vote?

I hope and believe there is a very real possibility In-Teams will grow beyond my ability or desire to run them alone. If you think you've got the ability to mentor innovation teams based on Seth's work, I'd be happy to hear from you. The upside is this is a win-win for all: Innovating is fun and exciting for workers, financially rewarding for companies, fulfilling for mentors, and beats the hell out of ordinary work any day!

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