To spur innovation, hire people who agitate you …

Punch line: Nearly 66% of companies on the Fortune 100 list in 1990 are not on the list today.

Why?

It is largely because they didn’t innovate and open themselves up to their next market.

* * * * *

Excerpted from Fast Company, “Why Hiring People Who Annoy You Helps You Innovate”

So are there ways for large, established companies to innovate?

Yes and here are some unconventional guidelines to follow.

1. Hire people who annoy you:

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A lot of research shows that diverse teams tend to come up with a wider variety of answers, and, thus, are more likely to find the surprising winning idea.

This suggests a hiring strategy–hire people who annoy you.

As long as you’re ensuring they are smart, the people who annoy you represent the diversity you and your company require.

2. Don’t copy, remake:

There is an entire cottage industry devoted to teaching you how to be innovative.

Most answers are glib because they point to some surface feature of a behavior.

3. Don’t create, listen:

The purpose of innovation is not simply to build something new, but to win new customers, new markets, or new products …

If you want to find out what customers want, nix the focus groups and instead watch their behavior.

Edited by JDC
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