There are no shortage of books, articles and blog posts about the topic. I’ve been writing about everything innovation on this blog for 8 years, it’s a topic I’m deeply passionate about, and the best compliment I’ve received from readers / followers is that I don’t publish crap. I appreciate those comments because I know it’s a topic that gets regurgitated over and over again.
I really try to provide my own point of view on the topic and not regurgitate what others say.
With that said, I’ve recently started a podcast to accompany this blog which regular readers of this blog will not be surprised about; it’s been a long time coming. For the podcast, one thing I deliberately decided not to focus on is the “how of innovation”; which my blog had lots of content on.
Because I can give you advice on how to innovate, the organizational components and behaviors needed, but I’m 100% certain most people won’t take my advice because it goes against human nature; only the brave will try.
The reason people keep seeking innovation advice is because they are seeking a silver bullet, a framework, a recipe that when followed leads to certain success. The truth is: template thinking doesn’t deliver innovation.
You see, I believe innovation is a mindset for experimentation, one that is developed by embracing an attitude driven to make things better by exploring possibilities. And as we all know, this isn’t something people are inspired to do because it’s easier to just go along with the way things have always been done.
In the work environment, most of the time, there is too much crap going on at work to have a mindset for experimentation. So, you have to eliminate the crap to make room for experimentation; great ideas need time and protection to come to life.
As Gary Hamel wrote in his book Leading The Revolution, dream, create, explore, invent, pioneer, imagine: do these words describe what you do? If not then you are already irrelevant, and your organization is probably becoming so.
Do you need to be a revolutionary to be innovative? No, but the path will certainly feel like you are being revolutionary.
With all of the above said, here’s all the innovation advice you need to know: it all comes down to getting out of your own way and overcoming human nature. That means empathizing with people, having a point of view, doing something you believe in, trying stuff, and keep trying stuff until you figure it out.