Monday, April 25th, 2016
DON’T MAKE INNOVATION AN END IN ITSELF
The interest in creativity and innovation in business ebbs and flows.
There seems to be an up tick again, maybe due to a new generation of top leaders who are themselves, are not so constrained, nor so role bound.
Anyway it’s been on my mind for awhile. Good ol’ Tom Peters. Read him again.
I am thinking of the ‘loose-tight’ dynamic he describes in PASSION FOR EXCELLENCE. Some companies get goony trying to be loose and self-consciously creative. Some have Innovation Officers. Some strive for a culture of creativity.
I think it may be putting the cart before the horse. There certainly are techniques for loosening up thought. In fact I teach those. Synectics is one of the best.
Still here is my recipe for innovation:
Make the WHAT of your business and strategy tight and clear and understood.
Let the HOW happen on its own. Do not measure and monitor HOW. Measure the WHAT.
Have a permeable company. Make it easy for everyone to talk to anyone about anything. Conversations are the breeding ground for new ideas. Not meetings. Conversations. So both set them up and let them happen.
A rock and a hard place is what pops out innovation. And sometimes you just have to stay with the dilemma and wrestle it down. Innovation makes your brain sweat. It is not easy. In fact it is the irritation of the insolvable that finally breaks down old answers into something new.
When people talk culture of creativity, they always mention allowing mistakes.
Well. Sure. Some. I think the approach is to let the mistakes have the consequences that are natural. No extra punishment. PS–innovators and entrepreneurs do not love the risk. They love having their idea come to fruition.
They are willing to take the risk but only to the degree it is necessary. There is no throwing caution to the wind.
Encourage your employees to range broadly in their development experiences. Don’t tie it too closely to their role or there present ability.
Say ‘yes’ as often as you can. Let the world or the consequences say ‘no’.
Create a ‘yes’ based culture to keep idea generation in the DNA of your company.
Last–Control you own control impulse.
Enough for today!