Friday, September 16, 2011

ReTHINK : Innovation isn't product of logical thought

Innovation isn't product of logical thought although it is tied to a logical structure.

Creativity and innovation is 2 words that greatly misunderstood in corporate world. And the regret is further intensified by most the manager's, executive's and almost all business owner belief that by analyzing data, this will give us a new way or a new idea to operate. This is a belief that went too far afield supported by Edward De Bono himself. He quoted;

" Most executives, many scientists, and almost all business school graduates believe that if you analyze data, this will give you new ideas. Unfortunately, this belief is totally wrong. The mind can only see what it is prepared to see."
Recently i witnessed the confusion of innovation and six sigma. A corporate culture dominated by Six Sigma management theory will be primarily inclined toward inwardly focused, continuous improvement types of innovation activity—process, customer service, systems, operations, and so on.

A culture that fosters disruptive innovation is going to be more entrepreneurial, more outwardly focused on new markets, technologies, and business models. The objective is to find big new growth platforms that add significant chunks of revenue and profit.

It's not a question which is important as both are equally crucial. But the point is not letting the whole consideration misplaced with distorted view. Do not confuse art of possibility and art of profitability. Reducing defect by running experiment and analyzing data do increase the profitability but on the other hand it does not lead you to the way of art of possibility.

You can’t put a Six Sigma process into an area and say, well, I’m getting behind on invention or innovation, so I’m going to schedule myself for three good ideas on Wednesday and two on Friday. That’s not how creativity works. That's not how you generate crazy innovative ideas.

By plotting the sensitivity and analysing the data of the key-pad won't lead you to breakthrough crazy idea like Iphone touch screen. Obsession towards customer requirement might not bring you a new innovative offer.

You might not agree with me but you can take-on Henry Ford as he said " If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses".If you measure everything you manage, risky ideas will not spark. Employees need to be able to dream, and they need to know that their company not only encourages risk but in fact exhibits a high tolerance for failure.

Only death fish follow the flows.ReTHINK...THINK DIFFERENT...INNOVATE

The issue, I believe, is not so much that process improvement and cost reduction are somehow inherently in conflict with innovation – the issue is that combining a top-down executive managed process improvement process with one set of cultural presumptions with a bottom-up innovation process with another set of cultural presumptions might not be such a good fit. The key message is that when selecting your box of tools, it is important to understand the assumptions inherent in the tool and select a compatible set of tools to achieve the desired outcomes.