The other day I was having a conversation with the Division President of a large company about innovation. I mentioned to him that in our 30 years in the innovation space, we have noticed that innovation initiatives tend to have a 3-5 year life. The pursuit of breakthrough innovation – “Big Bet” innovation that expands the opportunity for significant growth through expanding markets or creating new ones, takes time. The unfortunate result of changes in Corporate Will is that too often, just when investments begin to pay off with new platforms, new technologies, etc., the efforts are often abandoned.
changing the game,
We all like to believe that we are pretty good judges of ideas. We think we can objectively evaluate an idea based on its merits and recognize a creative solution, an innovative breakthrough, or a smart decision. When it comes to spotting the brilliant idea, we, like Potter Stewart, believe we know it when we see it.
Here’s today’s proposition: There are times in working and personal situations where open-ended (unsupported) questions can unintentionally sabotage and seriously derail the communication.
What’s behind the question? How many times do we ask that in our daily conversations or interactions? In my case, as you’ll read shortly, it’s at least one time too few. Regardless of my travails, understanding when this question should and should not be used to enhance creative thinking and innovation is a lesson that everyone should learn.
It's not always what you say; it's how you say it. Crystal clear communication is a cirtical piece of any innovation effort. We all know that words are not the only way we communicate with each other. Interpersonal communication also includes:
Innovation Speed Bump,