On the Cult of Innovation


I just saw another cartoon on LinkedIn about innovation.

One thing that is terribly wrong in the public perception of innovation is that it is so totally obvious. It is easy to smile about the cartoon here because the two guys simply do not do the obvious. But sorry, reality is most of the times totally different.
In retrospective it is always so obvious that this or that innovation had to revolutionize the world. The same will happen to us. Because we will miss to explore an innovation which later is so obviously changing the world. Why does this happen?? Because there is not only one guy with the right idea, there are millions of ideas. Some obviously do not work, some might, some go beyond imagination. You simply cannot try them all. You run in the risk to totally waste your resources. The tail of the innovator who starved is a seldomly told story. But how many of those guys we have for one successful innovator can easily be imagined.

So we play safe. Do things we know that work. Run into Innovator’s Dilemmas. Well, obviously that will not help either. What we need is a little bit of both…

I apply for 20% of time, efforts, resources to destroy what you currently do and think of different ways. If you can invest 20% into rethinking what you do, how you do it, experiment, fail and experiment again, it should prevent you from burning all your midnight oil in a senseless manner. But should keep you away from trying to roll with cubes when you could have wheels.

So, the comic above should show 4 more guys (maybe with triangles, drums, an air-cushion…)




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