Monday, June 04, 2007

The Myths of Innovation

I am reading The Myths of Innovation. I felt somewhat obligated because the name of our team is "Premium Innovation". I would hardly compare us to Xerox PARC, but we generally roll as Scott Berkun describes (although we have a long way to go).

If I feel frisky when I am done, I will do a proper review, but I like this quote from a section called "Ideas and Filters".

. . . Instead of binary switches – open vs. closed, creative vs. routine-- we want a sliding scale of openness that we can control. If you want new ideas, you have to slide toward openness, turning some filters off, exploring thoughts you'd ordinarily reject off-hand. Do this until some interesting ideas are found; then, gradually turn more filters on until you're left with a handful that are both good and practical for the problem at hand. Choosing which filters to apply when has much to do with successful innovation; it's not just having an open mind, it's also knowing when to postpone certain judgments, and then when to bring them back in. If a mind is always open, it never finishes anything; if a mind is never open, it never starts.

It reminds me a lot of Lean thinking. Specifically, set based design.

1 comment:

Sarge said...

"Premium Innovation"? Was "Unleaded Innovation" taken?

Sorry, chief, I couldn't resist. ;) I'm just jealous because my product's management is not just risk-averse but risk-terrified. It's not that we can't innovate; it's just that it tends to be more beg-forgiveness than ask-permission.