There’s more written on corporate innovation than any class of MBA students can read. Harvard Business Review publishes countless articles on the topic. One of my personal favorites is Gifford Pinchot’s classic book Intrapreneuring.

You’re not paid to think.
Shut up and get
back to work.

One thing that these traditional corporate innovation approaches have in common is that they are generally about how to change the corporation to encourage more innovation. It’s a worthy cause, but because of the glacial pace of change inside most big companies, there’s another approach that can be more rewarding and productive in the short-term: Corporate Hacking 101.

Now by Corporate Hacking, I don’t mean some kind of computer crime. Rather, corporate hacking is the process of routing around bureaucratic rules, people who like to say “no”, and plan of record processes. It’s a collection of techniques that allow an individual to succeed in driving innovation forward in spite of the system in place. Rather than change the system, we adapt and move forward anyway.

Sure, it’d be wonderful if my organization suddenly became vastly more innovative, but I’m not going to wait for that to happen, or to wait for permission to start innovating. It’s in my blood. It’s what I come to work to do.

I’m eager to read Seth Godin’s new book Poke The Box, as it seems to be very much in the same vein.

Over the coming days, I’m going to be posting some of my favorite stories about the techniques I’ve used to get innovative ideas implemented at my job.

I hope they help you. If you use any of them, let me know if you have success. And if you have stories or other techniques you’d like to share, let me know, and I’d love to post them here.

email: william .dot hertling at gmail .dot com.