Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Innovation and mediocre sex

I'm seeing a lot of misguided application of innovation techniques. The biggest problem I'm seeing is that people are following process and using techniques but without the right attitude and behaviors. Without the soul. And the soul, I'm afraid, is the secret sauce. That's what really gets you to new and different ideas.

One way this plays out, is for would-be innovators to find a few hours where people are available in between budget reviews and other budget reviews, in some boring corporate meeting room and to try and jam in a whole lotta innovation by walking through lots of innovation steps.

You're wondering how I'm going to work the sex metaphor into this aren't you? Wait for it, wait for it, now take it:

I think the scenario I laid out above is the "quickie" of innovation. In the quickie, one or both people want or need sex but they don't have the time for it and sometimes don't even have the right space for it. There are no sweet words. No candles. No KY Yours and Mine. And very little soul. The quickie has its place. It does serve a purpose. But it isn't going to get you that soulful emotional passion and love. The soulful experience requires the right mood, the right amount of time and the right space. You cannot shortcut it.

Innovation is quite similar. You cannot shortcut it. If you need a few quick ideas, some low-hanging fruit, go for it. In that scenario, you don't really need innovation, you just need some ideation. [See my last post for an explanation of this.] But when you are looking for something really novel or unique, that big-idea, you need the right mood, the right amount of time and the right space.

When you set it up that way, the magic can happen.

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