Overcoming the 5 Innovation Blind Spots

These are the five most common innovation blind spots that we have often observed in many different organisations:

  1. Neglecting the human condition – Trust, empathy, intuition, integrity, emotion are all central to innovation. However despite our best intentions these are often overlooked by new technology and gadgets, which are fun and sometimes the enabler of innovation, but never the real deal.
  2. Prioritising ideas not action – Innovation efforts are often over intellectualised and obsessed with novelty. Yet ideas are worth nothing without action. As written on the gravestone of Marx in Highgate Cemetry in London “Philosophers have sought to understand the world; the point, however, is to change it”.
  3. Being brand-led not people-led – Brands don’t innovate, people do! Innovation is a byproduct of when people like and respect each other and have the need or opportunity to collaborate. An interesting challenge is how a brand can transcend it’s people and be inspired by them, to infect the culture and psyche like a positive virus.
  4. Building products not platforms – Most people don’t leave enough space for other peoples creativity and contribitions. Google say “we don’t build products, we build platforms”. Platforms that unleash the creativity of others. The provide the framework and space for self expression, creativity, productivity, fun etc
  5. Making rules not meaning – Everybody is making it up and struggling to keep up. Too many organisations try to impose too much process which often squeeze out the potential for innovation. Everybody wants to be engaged in something meaningful but almost all jobs don’t offer that. There are no rule books. Listen, respond, prototype, and have the faith to leap into the unknown.

Which of the above blind spots apply to you and your organisation?

If we acknowledge and invert them, we can begin to create a new blueprint for innovation in a complex and connected world:

  • Be honest and be yourself at all times
  • Learn by doing, sharing, iterating constantly
  • Infect inspiration and enthusiasm in others and yourself
  • Leave enough space for the unexpected contributions of others
  • Make new meaning and break the rules

Good luck – have fun – change the world for the better please…

by Roland

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