Engineering serendipity

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  1. I have spent a while developing what i could loosely describe as Tickle Tactics. I worked for Greg Dyke once in the BBC trying to bring cutting-edge innovation techniques to people whose job it is to ‘be creative’ – and the drama that ensued was more interesting than many an HBO blockbuster. On close observation it seems that too much ‘serendipity’ and a lot of time and money is wasted – we all have known creatives types who love to wander around and pontificate but rarely is a breakthrough had. However the process junkies often miss the beauty of accidental (?) discoveries and alchemical ‘mistakes’ – sometimes time really is needed for whatever is ‘seeking to emerge’ (as the theory U people might say) to make itself known. I find that the real challenge is how to engineer ‘lightly’ – low touch experiences and elegant guidance that allow people and organisations to bring the whole of their creative potential to a challenge and have winning ideas ‘tickled’ out of them. It is not easy but it seems to be most rewarding on all counts.

  2. Interesting term you’ve coined, I’d be curious to hear more about your perspective on open innovation and where you think it can work best. As you might have heard, InnoCentive has just partnered with SAP and will now be offering more Challenges in the Engineering, Computer and IT, and Business sectors from SAP’s clients. SAP sees innovation as key to success, as I’m sure you folks do too. Best of luck!
    Liz
    Marketing Manager
    InnoCentive

  3. Engineering serendipity?Roland Harwood at NESTA wrote about Engineering Serendipity last week and it’s been on my mind since then. He’s been meeting lots of companies that try to broker relationships between people and their ideas:With more distributed organisations and speci…

  4. Nick – Tickle tactics – nice name! Re, light engineering, I like Johnnie Moore’s concept of robust uncertainty:
    http://www.johnniemoore.com/blog/archives/002094.php
    Liz – interesting developments with innocentive/SAP and I’d like to learn more about it. We now have quite a lot of exerience with open innovation (see here for details: http://www.nesta.org.uk/corporate-open-innovation/) and I would say it is most appropriate at the start of the innovation process to spot opportunities, and towards the end to spot markets (with the middle section being more closed and iterative). See here for some more on that:
    http://blogs.nesta.org.uk/connect/2008/08/the-comedy-bow.html
    Regards,
    Roland

  5. I find that the real challenge is how to engineer ‘lightly’ – low touch experiences and elegant guidance that allow people and organisations to bring the whole of their creative potential to a challenge and have winning ideas ‘tickled’ out of them.
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    naughton
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