In last Thursday’s Innochat session about “Innovation and Experience” one of the questions posed was: How important is experience to the ability to innovate?
Tomorrow is Thursday, #innochat day!
Our topic: "Innovation and Experience"
What is your experience of innovation?
How important is experience to the ability to innovate?
Let's discuss this during #innochat tomorrow (Thursday April 26th) at 12 noon EDT, 9am PDT, 5pm BST (UK)
— John W Lewis (@JohnWLewis) April 25, 2018
An additional question came up during the chat:
I’d like to start off with a question that was posed to me many years ago that I have never forgotten:
“Would you rather have potential or experience?”
I know what my answer is. What’s yours?#innochat
— CL Design (@cldbrand) April 26, 2018
I tackled these questions earlier in the year. They way I framed it is: Does innovation get easier the more you do it?
My response is the following: innovation isn’t a matter of age or experience; it’s a matter of attitude, perspective, persistence and determination. Certainly having experience helps you avoid mistakes; but innovation rarely happens the same way.
It’s important to know what not to do and maintain a beginner’s mind. These two characteristics are where potential lies. In other words: you’re practicing an innovation mindset if you have experience but also approach each situation with a beginner’s mind.
For example, I have experience in the different types of innovation approaches (R&D, breakthrough, sustaining, disruptive) but I don’t like repeating what I’ve done before. Rather, I avoid previous mistakes (experience) and approach the situation as if it were new; which it is.
If you look at this from an organizational perspective, most organizations don’t get better at innovation over time. They get better at optimization (experience / sustain / reduce errors), but suck at disrupting themselves (beginner’s mind).