20/80 Rule


20/80 Rule Diagram


Conventional corporate logic tells us to follow the 80/20 rule: 80 percent of your results come from 20 percent of your initiatives. For innovation, however, this simply doesn’t work.

Instead, innovators should follow the 20/80 rule: it’s easier to change 20% of your organization 80% than to change 80% of your organization 20%. Think of your organization like a bell curve, with the middle of the curve marking normalcy and the two ends marking crisis points and success points. Innovation happens at the edges of the organization, in areas of crisis or excellence. This is where people take risks because they either have nothing to lose or are on a roll. Find places in your organization that are experiencing failures or enjoying success and start your innovation there.