So, last week’s post Innovation is the opposite of what we’re pretending the word means hit a nerve; as it should. Some people quickly commented that disruptive and radical innovation is rare and that 99% of established organizations really pursue incremental innovation:
As a leader, to enable innovation in your teams, you need to create the conditions necessary for innovation to happen. That means setting bold goals, providing support and getting out of the way; but it isn’t easy.
A common strategy that is executed to overcome this challenge is to create a dedicated innovation team, one that doesn’t work on core business challenges; rather it is given time to find the next revolution by letting them play with ideas. …
If you’re a successful company, you’re probably not used to innovation. You’re used to being good at what you do, and that’s the opposite of innovation. Smart innovation that evolves a new and marketable product often requires an innovation partner.
There are a lot of reasons for that. But they boil down to a deceptively simple concept:
Two heads think better than one.…
This is a three part post on how to leave small thinking behind. In the first post, I showed you a simple technique for coming up with radical ideas. Here I talk about how to evaluate ideas so they don’t fit into the “me-too” territory. On the third post I’ll tell you how to determine which ideas might work.
We think too small, like the frog at the bottom of the well. He thinks the sky is only as big as the top of the well. If he surfaced, he would have an entirely different view. – Mao Tse-tung
I know a handful of people that work in the “innovation/entrepreneurship space” who talk a good talk but when it’s time to put the wheels on the road, more times than not, they revert to small thinking. Heck, I’ve even heard people outright say they think big but when challenged further they are shocked to their bones.
This isn’t an isolated scenario, most everyone is like this. Heck, how many companies plaster their physical and digital (Facebook) walls with inspirational quotes, but when you look inside you see that their actions don’t reflect their wishful thinking.
When you’re looking for innovative ideas that will truly differentiate your company and have major market impact, you must set the yardstick high and keep it high. You may think you’ve left small thinking behind, but often, even if you are benchmarking outside your industry, challenging the status quo of your business, or radicalizing your current strategy, small thinking will creep in. It most always does.