Scene of building with runes on side 

Your Innovation Manifesto

Jeffrey Baumgartner

Everyone is talking about innovation these days. There is probably not a company on the planet that does not claim that innovation is a critical component of its future.

Yet, companies are slow to act. I recently spoke to the innovation manager in a large, well known multinational. He complained that even he has problems selling innovative ideas to the very management that gave him his position to help the company innovate better.

Then, one day last week while responding to a query from a major scientific institution, it dawned on me: the first step any business ought to make on the road to innovation is to prepare an Innovation Manifesto, have the CEO and top managers sign it off and display it prominently in their organisation.

To make matters easier for you – as I know you are extremely busy these days – I've prepared a draft Innovation Manifesto which you are free to copy, modify, print, sign and display in your firm.

The [Company Name] Innovation Manifesto

In view of the fast changing marketplace, continuous introductions of new technologies and our competitors' relentless growth, our company declares that innovation shall rule our products, operations and actions.


  1. Top management shall embrace, encourage and nurture innovation at all times. Every decision they make will take into consideration how that decision shall affect the innovativeness of the organisation.

  2. Top management themselves shall adopt more creative behaviour – via training if need be – and demonstrate their creativity to employees, clients and shareholders.

  3. We shall establish a reasonable budget for implementing radically innovative ideas. The return on investment of implementation of those ideas shall take into consideration not only income, but also learning value. There will be no consequences for implementations which are not financially successful.

  4. Managers shall ensure that each and every member of their team has time to be creative and understands that being creative – which leads to innovation – is a critical component of her job responsibilities. To this end, sitting and looking out the window, going for a walk or leaving the office for a fresh environment in which to think shall be considered work.

  5. Realising that innovation is our future, we shall all learn to greet new ideas with open arms and consider the innovative potential of those ideas. Rather than reject ideas, as we have done in the past, we shall challenge those who propose ideas to improve their ideas and make them more innovative.

  6. Creative thinking skills shall become a priority in our internal training programmes.

  7. Mistakes shall be considered a part of our training programme.

  8. No employee shall ever be reprimanded for sharing an idea to others in the firm, even if the idea seems preposterous. We understand that one employee being scolded for sharing a silly idea can do irreparable damage to our firm's innovativeness.

  9. Project teams shall be filled with a diversity of people from various divisions in order to ensure breadth of creative thought and innovative solutions in all our projects.

  10. Overworking leads to stress which is detrimental to creativity and innovation. Employees shall be encouraged to take holiday time off, leave work at a reasonable hour and have active, fulfilling private lives.

  11. We shall take great pride in our innovativeness and strive to improve it daily.

Your CEO


A version of this article originally appeared in in the 4 April 2006 issue of Report 103.

© 2006, 2009, 2016


Recent Articles

Leading Diverse Teams
Filed under: Business Innovation
Diverse teams are more innovative and smarter than homogeneous ones. But, they are also harder to manager. Here are some tips. By Jeffrey Baumgartner -- Read the article...


Questions you should ask when an innovative project fails
Filed under: Business Innovation
You can learn a lot from the failure of an innovative project, but you need to ask the right questions. Here are those questions. By Jeffrey Baumgartner -- Read the article...


Unmarketing the Competition
Filed under: Business Innovation
A look at creative, but unethical dirty trick marketing campaigns designed to damage the competition By Jeffrey Baumgartner -- Read the article...


Imaginativefulness and the Fisherman
Filed under: Creativity
What does a fisherman wearing a cycling helmet have to do with imaginativefulness? Quite a lot, it seems. By Jeffrey Baumgartner -- Read the article...


Actually, Criticising Ideas Is Good for Creativity
Filed under: Creativity
People have long assumed criticising ideas in a brainstorm inhibits creativity. Research and experience shows that is wrong By Jeffrey Baumgartner -- Read the article...


Filed under: Creativity
Imaginativefulness is a state of heightened imagination in which your mind allows thoughts, memories and ideas to play with each other freely. By Jeffrey Baumgartner -- Read the article...


Why and How to Exploit Alternative Uses for Your Products
Filed under: Business Innovation
Discovering new ways customers use, misuse and could use your products can inspire innovation. Jeffrey Baumgartner explains. By Jeffrey Baumgartner -- Read the article...


The Cost of Not Innovating
Filed under: Business Innovation
If your company fails to innovate, you pay a steep price in terms of loss of leadershop, tight margins, missed opportunities and more. By Jeffrey Baumgartner -- Read the article...


Don't Trust the Status Quo
Filed under: Creativity
Jeffrey Baumgartner has never trusted the status quo. He explains why this is so and why you should also not trust the status quo By Jeffrey Baumgartner -- Read the article...


Index of all creative articles...


Return to top of page


Creative Jeffrey logo

Jeffrey Baumgartner
Bwiti bvba

Erps-Kwerps (near Leuven & Brussels) Belgium




My other web projects

My other web projects 100s of articles, videos and cartoons on creativity - possibly useful things I have learned over the years. reflections on international living and travel. - paintings, drawings, photographs and cartoons by Jeffrey