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Tendayi Viki: Pirates in the Navy Tendayi Viki is an author, innovation consultant, and Associate Partner at Strategyzer, helping large organizations innovate for the future while managing their core business. He has been shortlisted for the Thinkers50 Innovation Award and was named on the Thinkers50 Radar List for emerging management thinkers to watch. He's written three books based on his research and consulting experience, Pirates In The Navy*, The Corporate Startup* and The Lean Product Lifecycle*. The Corporate Startup * was awarded the CMI Management Book Of The Year In Innovation and Entrepreneurship. He is also a regular contributing writer for Forbes. In this conversation, Tendayi and I discuss how innovators often take on the role of pirates in the navy. We explore the mindset that innovators inside organizations need to avoid the common mistakes in advancing new ideas. Plus, we discuss why innovators should ignore detractors early on, parter with early adopters, and use early wins to move forward. Key Points Middle managers may stifle innovation, but often that’s because of internal pressure from those at the top to keep results coming. Innovators should beware basking in the glow of the CEO. It’s essential to engage other stakeholders in the business. Partnering with early adopters is essential for innovators. These are the managers who have existing frustrations with the status quo and are already trying new things. Celebrate early wins through blog posts, workshops, success stories, interviews, and even external conferences. These help you gain credibility. Beware basking too much in early wins. The point of early wins is to give you credibility to move on to the next stage. Resources Mentioned Pirates In The Navy: How Innovators Lead Transformation* by Tendayi Viki The Corporate Startup: How Established Companies Can Develop Successful Innovation Ecosystems* by Tendayi Viki, Dan Toma, and Esther Gone The Lean Product Lifecycle: A Playbook for Making Products People Want* by Tendayi Viki, Craig Strong, and Sonja Kresojevic In Defense Of Middle Managers Who Stifle Innovation by Tendayi Viki Interview Notes Download my interview notes in PDF format (free membership required). Related Episodes The Way to Nurture New Ideas, with Safi Bahcall (episode 418) How to Start Seeing Around Corners, with Rita McGrath (episode 430) How to Build an Invincible Company, with Alex Osterwalder (episode 470) How to Pivot Quickly, with Steve Blank (episode 476) Discover More Activate your free membership for full access to the entire library of interviews since 2011, searchable by topic.