Innovation Blog

19.1.06

7 Innovation Myths


(Forwarded on from Ian Adair)

http://www.mohansawhney.com/registered/content/TradeArticle/Seven%20Innovation%20Myths.pdf

These guys are from Kellog School of Management

The 7 myths are:

1.        Myth - you need more new ideas
        Reality - you need more homes for ideas
Managers often lament the paucity of ideas - their logic:  "Ideas are like frogs eggs - thousands are hatched but only a few hatch".  The logic is flawed - you don't need more frogs eggs....you need more egg incubators!

2.         Myth - Innovation is a department
        Reality - Innovation is Company wide competency

3.        Myth - Let people loose to innovate
        Reality - Enable Innovation through structure and process
Ideas are often serendipitous, Innovation is not.  Give employees the freedom to imagine and the structure to act.  
Here is an interesting insight - you combat structure with structure

4.          Myth - Innovation is a radical departure from the past
        Reality - Innovation often creatively combines pieces of the past

5.        Myth - Mistakes are costly
        Reality - Early mistakes are profitable
Equating project cancellation with failure is one of the most dysfunctional characteristics of many organisations.  
Mistakes are the handmaidens of success.  
As Wayne Gretsky (ice hockey champion) said - you miss 100% of the shots you dont take
Make mistakes cheaply and make them early in the game.

6.        Myth - Avoid the detours
        Reality - Detours may be the destination
Microwaves were developed for military applications but ended up warming our food
Who would have thought ring tones (developed as a gimmick) would have grown to a $3.5b business in 2003

7.        Myth - Innovation is about creating new things

        Reality - There are many paths to Innovation
Innovation can take many forms.  Starbucks did not invent coffee
Dell's computers are that different from competitors