Innovative Organizational Structures

John W Lewis's picture
Chat Date: 
Thu, Sep 01, 2016

How do organizations structure themselves to enable, support, and encourage innovation? Triggered by two recent events in the advertising industry, let's discuss the options.

Organizations innovate in a variety of ways and to different extents. They innovate consciously or unconsciously, and willingly or unwillingly. And whatever the form, shape, or size of an organization, its innovative behaviour is helped or hindered by its various processes and structures.

Three weeks ago, we discussed the relationship between innovation labs and R&D labs in "Why Innovation Labs?". The choice of topic was triggered by the closure of Ogilvy Labs. The establishment of innovation labs, by many organizations, can be seen as a function-specific group. It's a vertical silo-like approach to innovation with multiple customer-specific value streams, presumably, running through it.

In a different approach altogether, some advertising agencies set up a whole new agency for a specific client, the latest being set up under the leadership of Wendy Clark , @wnd, by DDB's Omnicom, following their selection by McDonalds as the U.S. creative agency of record. This is a customer/client-specific group which runs horizontally and in parallel with other value streams.


Let's discuss the relationships between innovation capability and organizational structures during #innochat on September 1 on Twitter starting at 12 noon Eastern time.


"McDonald's Picks Omnicom as Winner of U.S. Creative Review"

"McDonald's Win Is Only the Beginning for Wendy Clark and Omnicom"

"The Real 'Mad Men' Diaries: Keith Reinhard"


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