Geeks! I salute you and all that you have achieved. I really do, and consider myself one of you, albeit my coding skills are pretty rusty these days. The power of code has, without question, transformed pretty much every aspect of our lives.
However the phenomenal success of code to create value has lead to an overzealous drive towards the codification of everything, which has gone too far and misses a deeper truth.
Daniel Kahneman writes eloquently in his bestselling book ‘Thinking Fast and Slow‘ about our two primary modes of thinking – namely via our fast intuitive brain and our slow rational brain. The rational brain wants to turn everything into a process, an algorithm or a code. However the intuitive brain listens to our gut embedded in our senses via our shared evolutionary history.
We see again and again organisations large and small trying to boil things down to a process. A checklist. An algorithm. But when it comes to fostering innovation, which is only ever a byproduct of our culture, it is never a simple output of a codified tool. As useful as tools and techniques can be at times (cue plug for 100%Open’s excellent open innovation toolkit – see here) they can only ever take you so far.
In our experience, innovation requires careful attention, deep insight, constant agility and endless passion. These things cannot be artificially manufactured. They exist and are formed through a delicate dance between our hearts, minds and emotions.
And as a former student of quantum physics, I’m reminded of the fundamental influence of the observer in the world. We are not passive perceivers. If we see the world as particles, we create particles. If we see the world as waves, we create waves. What get’s measured, get’s made. The drive to codify innovation, actually kills the fragile ingredients necessary for it to flourish.
By boiling everything down to code, we loose an important richness and necessity of experience. The desire for precise outcomes kills the space for creative environments to flourish. So let’s not forget about the soothsayers, the connectors, the carers. They are the superstars just as much as, if not more so, than the coders.
Innovation is a perfect paradox. Above, below, between and beyond code.
Image credit (and great post too by the way) :https://medium.com/@alirtariq/moving-beyond-code-6d23e812348