The Oreo Cookie Effect In Innovation

Once again I was listening to Stephen Gate’s podcast “The Crazy One”. (Just love it!!) This particular episode with the title of “Why innovation is rarely authorized” grabbed my attention. Stephen was having a discussion with Sina Mossayeb who spent over 6 years at IDEO as a Systems Design Lead and Gregory Larkin whose book “This Might Get Me Fired: A Manual for Thriving in the Corporate Entrepreneurial Underground” has now been added to my summer reading list. Listen for yourself but I wanted to grab a few quotes by these awesome gents that inspired me to resurrect the Oreo Cookie concept..

Never pitch and idea, pitch an outcome

Run up the hill Till the moment you bring results

Innovation is the outcome

Daily question on what did I risk today.

Comfortable being uncomfortable

Superpowers are always rationalizing mediocracy

Opposition is validation

Experiences is what you get when you don’t get what you want

So what does an Oreo cookie have to do with innovation and organizational behavior? I started using an Oreo Cookie as a very over-simplified visual of any organization.

Bottom of the cookie: Every organization has a very strong and passionate bottoms-up talent that may have a different view on value systems, leadership approaches, talent attraction & retention and many more aspects of a corporation that is a living organism itself.

Top of the cookie: At the same time an organizational change can only be put into real motion if there is also that top layer that can unite everyone towards one mission. And I am not talking about a handful of top leaders, I am talking about that “clay layer” activated into respecting everyones voice, solving challenges together, not accepting mediocracy, and the list goes on

When the bottom of the cookie is capped off with a strong top, that when the really great, juicy, tasty, gooeyy stuff happens in the middle. That is when great products are born. The products just speak for themselves, delighting their customers everyday.

Let me know what you think? Is Innovation rarely authorized or does it need the oreo cookie effect?

Serial Intra & Entrepreneur, Founding Board Member of YourCoach Health , Health 2.0 NYC & AMS & DUS, Husband, Father to 2 gr8 girls. Views always my own!