Building a Naturally Innovative Organization™: The Big Think High Performance Spearhead

Many companies struggle with staying on the innovation front-end rather than getting bogged down and decimated by competitors that are more innovative. At Big Think Innovation, we have been talking to leaders and thinking about what differentiates innovative firms from those that are just getting by. And we’ve created the Big Think High Performance Spearhead to show how pieces build on each other and fit together to drive innovation in an organization.



The Alignment Foundation

Starting at the bottom, we have the Alignment Foundation in purple. The Alignment Foundation focuses on getting everyone in the organization moving in the same direction, with passion and engagement. These three elements are the core of building a Naturally Innovative Organization™. They provide direction and get the right people in the organization from the start. The Core4 includes Purpose, Values, Mission, and Vision. Before over-communicating the Core 4 to others, the leadership team must Live the Core 4 to show integrity, and also use the Core 4 as a key element of hiring and review.

Inspiration and alignment are natural byproducts of establishing the Alignment Foundation.

High Performance Core

These three elements build on the foundation by providing detailed guidance and assuring that all people in the organization are working at top effectiveness and in the same direction. Building a sharing a comprehensive strategy that connects to peoples’ roles is important. Then you need to adjust the organizational structure to assure that the strategy can be executed effectively. Finally, you need to install a management system that is based on fairness and trust, and that focuses leaders to take care of their people and get out of their way.

Increased employee engagement and productivity are natural byproducts of establishing a High Performance Core.

Innovation Accelerator

These three elements multiply the impact of the rest of the spear by nurturing ideas and turning them into profitable results. An Innovation Culture focuses on low friction, which means allowing ideas to surface, be discussed, and nurtured to implementation when warranted. As you have lots of new ideas surface, you will need to install an Innovation Filter, which assesses new ideas and filters out ideas that are not ready for implementation from ideas that can make a difference. The Innovation Filter is a critical role that should be filled with someone or a team of people who have a strong iNtuitive Thinking preference on the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory assessment. NTs can see possibilities and also filter through ideas that won’t work. NTs dothis with 95x the results of others.

Finally, once you have a filtered list of potential innovations, you need to assure that those ideas get implemented. This is where a team is dedicated to spinning up new ideas and handing them off to operations when the systems are built.

Increased innovation is a natural byproduct of establishing the Innovation Accelerator.


The Spearhead provides a fairly simple approach to building what many companies are looking for. We will explore each building block in the Spearhead in subsequent blog posts.