I am a big fan of companies with an innovative spirit. The companies that stare down an untested path and welcome it. The companies that seek out new challenges to conquer on behalf of their customers’ needs.

One of my favorite examples of corporate innovation over the last decade is from Intuit. And when I say it is one of my favorite examples, I am not referring to a product, I am referring to the way in which Intuit implements its internal corporate innovation strategy.

The innovation process, not to be confused with innovative thinking, at the enterprise level needs to be structured, productive and reproducible. You need a reliable course of action that can be put into place and shared across departments.

Intuit gets it.

This small business, personal finance and tax software company goes all in on innovation culture, specifically a lean startup mentality. The company believes in fast-moving experimentation. Each employee is encouraged to utilize these tools and resources to innovate:

  • Unstructured Time
  • Innovation Catalysts Mentors
  • Horizon Planning
  • Attend Lean StartIn Events
  • Rotation Development

The result is a fully engaged staff that believes in the innovation culture Intuit has built. The main beneficiary being its customers. This culture has a long story about how it got off the ground, as detailed in the Harvard Business Review, but the main principle behind it was that PowerPoint presentations are stale and do not spark creation:

“Encouraging experimentation rather than PowerPoint has enabled employees throughout Intuit to move from satisfying customers to delighting them. Design for Delight has stuck because people see that it is an obviously better and more enjoyable way of innovating.”

Intuit understands that true innovation starts with its own culture and is successful by overcoming fears of change, as well as empowering employees to implement change.

I encourage any company to create an environment of continuous transformation because that is how you build a future-proof company.

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