i’m a geek.
i can geek out on almost anything. in trying to figure out how i’m going to structure the work my team will do over the next year, i did a fair amount of research on the topic of “innovation”. i totally geeked out on it, and came out the other side feeling dumber for my efforts. connceptually, it seemed a little odd to research “innovation”. in my mind, research is an attempt to uncover “prior art” (what other people have done), while innovation is all about the forward looking and the “radical departure from status quo.”
having said that, i really really really like talking to people who have a novel approach to solving an old/common problem or a clever application of a new technology and want to give my team some space to do that. i have some ideas about how i might acheive this, but wanted to back them with “measurable goals”.
the earth-shattering outcome of my research? i’ll save you the frustration and brain damage:
i’m really glad i’m not the director of it for some small company.
lots of people think their reuse of something clever someone else did is “innovative”.
“innovation” is a good way to explain something that you spent a bunch of time on that still hasn’t paid off.
people who do innovative work don’t generally use the word in a sentence without “air quotes”.
and… the only thing i’ll retain… there are two approaches to innovation, supply driven and demand led. (more in the following paragraph)
two simple thoughts:
supply-driven innovation occurs when you have a new technology looking for a problem. (“oh, look! new hammer! where nail?”)
demand-led innovaiton occurs when you have a problem looking for a solution. (“pile of nails and i got nothing heavy.”)
yep. that’s it.
it’s not much, but it’s what i took from three hours of reading papers on innovation, metrics to evaluate the impact of innovation, and a fair amount of meaningless drivel.
side note: in the right light diana krall sounds an awful lot like queen latifah. (see also: various artists: we all love ella: celebrating the first lady of song)
this is my 100th post to bengt.org. based on some pretty weak apache log analysis, i estimate that roughly 165 people will read this over the next year. i apologize in advance.