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Innovation

After receiving a few comments privately I felt roughed up for slashing (could have put it better) at Gary Hamel's recent article in Fast Company. I still believe it was basically on target. So naturally I been following other postings. Here's some snips;

Sudar Dasai says (my bolding):

"Innovative, breakthrough, radical ideas - those that occur at the fringes, happen through processes of interaction among a wide variety of employees, not constrained to fit within boxes. The process of tolerating this 'Variety', of deliberately creating it and nurturing it, is something we have not been successful at implementing. We have not learned how to create the kinds of environments where this kind of innovation becomes systemic.

I don't believe you go looking for radical ideas through a Top-Down process. Organizations have to create the conditions in which radical ideas emerge and thrive. All you then need is to create sound processes to pick the best ones, not through some internal panel of judges, but through sandboxes in the external world, and developing a fine sensitivity to spot potential winners.

The challenge with this kind of thinking, which we are scared to recommend - even in forums that incite people to radical thinking, is that it asks for a relinquishing of control, for trusting processes that you cannot completely control, for creating environments that allow internal denizens of the fringes to flourish, tolerating the coexistence of hundreds of failures with the few phenomenal successes. All of these are ideas which have been around for a while in search of hosts.

To suggest that there is a cookbook, a set of formulas, a checklist of things to do, is to go back to a prescription that has not worked for the last several decades. The innovation we now need is not just in the techniques of Product Development, Marketing or Strategy - It is in finding the courage to simultaneously create exciting communities of innovative people, those fringes of excitement within our organizations that we so want to serve in the outside world."


Then Hal Richman added his thoughts about scenarios too.

"Hamel's portrayal of scenario planning as predicting the future - it is really about understanding plausible futures. Hamel's quest for "What are the things that are already changing that most people ( especially my competitors ) haven't noticed yet?" is addressed by the driving forces that are part of any scenario planning exercise."

Did I see in these sandboxes and stories? Heretics and values? Scenarios and communities?

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