The story of all these companies and ideas has more to do with how they elevated and improved upon what already existed, or took it in new, simpler, smarter, more useful, more profitable directions. Innovators are overrated because we only witness are success stories. In part that’s because the most misleading thing in much research on “how to innovate”, and certainly in much business writing about such research, is the focus on creativity as the bottleneck. It is…, If you could only pick one, would you rather have power in your home or a working iPhone? Good thinking is required all along, but no special creativity technique or magic insight is a key link in the chain. | AMIconsultancy, Hoeveel nieuwe ideeën heb je nodig als organisatie om innovatief te zijn? The ideas, at least the big ideas involved, were not new or original, at least not in high level concept. At leadership retreats, and…, Each week I take the top voted question from readers and answer it (submit one here). We worship the magician’s scarf, because we’re completely divorced from how things are made. Inquisitiveness, sparks of insight, and creative talent is the focus of much writing on innovation, and it’s far from the whole story. His essay in the New Yorker,…, “The more we elaborate our means of communication, the less we communicate.” – J. Even more likely, such a person could simply be trying to optimize his/her opportunity to be lazy. Don’t want uncertainty? Failure is a huge vein in the history of progress – each failure that gets a little bit more of the problem solved increases the chances the next attempt will work. Why has innovation slowed down? Amazon was not the first on-line bookstore. And he does offer some excellent advice – hard work: To improve your questioning skills, Gregersen recommends identifying a problem and writing nothing but questions about it for 10 minutes a day for 30 days. To be fair, I highly doubt Gregersen asked CNN to put the word secret in the article – he’s just the expert they’re quoting and he’s along for their ride. Made another way, few of the folks who are called innovators ever use the word, or call themselves such a thing. Berkun is a writer and speaker and former programme manager at Microsoft. He says that over that period the questions will change, and so will your understanding and approach to the problem. His essay in the New Yorker,… The Meaninglessness of Google Glass. It’s the same kind of inquisitiveness you see in small children. And was practiced long before it was ever called anthropology. Here’s the money quote: “To invent or create is to take a bet against the unknown. Doing laundry isn’t something most people look forward to, but secret laundry almost sounds interesting. This story is much less sexy. Innovation has similiar (ab)use, as sticking it on front of things can bring new life to the ultra-dull. Small children get mentioned often in business articles about creativity, yet somehow the Fortune 500 hasn’t sponsored any kindergarden meet and greets just yet. All rights reserved unless otherwise noted. These folks have written about his work or invited him to speak to them: You’re reading Scott Berkun. Moreover, it’s a conspicuous failure if you preemptively tell other people that you’re going to win. “Nobody’s better at explaining how the world really works than Scott Berkun.” – Jeffrey Zeldman, co-founder of A List Apart, "You'll find a lot to steal from this short, inspiring guide to being creative. No matter what you do, you are still betting you can do well in the face of many things that are out of your control. After going around the block a few times, we’re all disappointed to learn that secret sauces are rarely all that secret. ), You Don’t Need Any More New Ideas! Berkun’s relationship with his father defined him, until he chose to try and define himself. Available now where books are sold. It’s finding successful people who are willing to bet on different ideas, and people with ideas who are willing to do the legwork to convince others of the merits of something that doesn’t exist yet (and prevent them from killing their ideas), that’s the challenge. To the extent that much innovation occurs within the structure of a corporate environment, is management willing to accept failure? It’s like an implicit (or explicit) promise. It should be no surprise these days that the two words, secret and innovation, often appear together. B. Priestley [Update 1/16/15: Google…, There are two different uses of the word myth: A falsehood, as in “the weight loss myth” A story with…, For years I’ve studied use and abuse of the word innovation. Confer Steve Jobs’ parable of the concept car or when Don Norman delineates between an error (execution) and a mistake (intent) in The Design of Everyday Things. :-) ( It’s only later, sometimes much later, when their ideas or companies are successful that the I-word gets used. The big ideas were just part of the story, and arguably a small part. They want to be on the pedestal, and the secrets/shortcut/tricks meme is easier to sell and easier for people to convince themselves to buy. But it’s a hard sell – to tell people to fail, or find ways to fail, runs against the mythology that attracts people to stories of innovation. progress/invention/business), has been done many times, and often better in some respect, before. This is the best way to follow Berkun's latest work. They have a certain combination of usefulness that we fall in love with. The role of ideas and creative thinking in innovation is always overstated because the other stuff is hard to romanticize, hard to sell and hard to get ordinary people excited about. They talk about new products, new projects, change management, or just doing things. The exercise bike is a bicycle without wheels and I could go on and on. iPhone vs. Light Switch: which invention is more impressive? Made me want to get up and make stuff!" How many new ideas do you need to be innovative? It’s to realize, or simply pretend to ignore, that you will face challenges that slice across a dozen fields of study and degrees, in the same way that life and the universe does. And, as you mentioned, involves the kind of work & deep long-range focus that children, however creative & inquisitive, are not exactly known for. Kindle was not the first digital book reader. The truth is that behind every innovation there are many failures which are inherent to the competition that free market imposes on entrepreneurs. What he describes is work. Over 19,000 people have signed up. Again, potentially not so glamourous. Lessons from the Xerox-914: the first real copy machine. Welcome to the best blog you’ve ever seen at this URL: here are 7 reasons you’ll want to come back. Maybe Jim Collins will take up your analysis challenge and write “Edison Was Right” . The truth (that it’s not the idea, which is easy, but the execution of the idea, which is hard — or that the best way to be ‘original’ is to take your creative influences from as deep, wide-ranging and diverse a network of books, movies, art, personal experiences, etc. In this recent article on CNN, called learn the 5 secrets of Innovation, we hear this yarn: One of the men behind the study, Insead’s Hal Gregersen, told CNN, “What the innovators have in common is that they can put together ideas and information in unique combinations that nobody else has quite put together before.”. I’ve probably said something like this before, but here goes again anyway. A captivating and honest exploration of who we are, and how we must choose our own way forward in life no matter what happens to us. Blogging Innovation » You Don’t Need More Innovation Ideas! I haven’t seen too many organizations comfortable with that mindset. By becoming a tourist, a…, [This post originally published on BusinessWeek] One troubling phenomenon is the push for everyone to be innovators. And when it comes to the history of business innovation, the factors are often very small, and often beyond the control of the players involved, facts CEOs and business writers rarely profit from admitting. ” — Simon Moore, “Berkun tells it like it is… you’ll gain insights to take your skills to the next level.” — Tony Hsieh, CEO, “Berkun sets us free to try and change the world.” — Guy Kawasaki, “Highly recommended for CEOs, project managers, and hackers alike.” — Matt Mullenweg, Founder (Or has it? How many of these challenges are overcome primarily by inquisitiveness? I’m not saying anything new here – I’m just trying to say what’s closer to the truth about how innovation, or whatever it is people mean by that word, actually happens.

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