…you've defined the problem with the old one, reframed it as choice between at least two mutually exclusive choices, and generated some initial possibilities through focused, facilitated brainstorming.
One of the most frequently asked questions I get is, “How can we unleash innovation all across our company?” Through the course of working with dozens of different organizations and teams, I’ve noticed four common traps that are all too easy to fall into, and nearly always get in the way of building a culture of constant innovation. I call them temptations, because they are the siren call to many an innovator. They're quite intuitive, and thus very hard to resist.
Using the real life stories of not only well-known business figures and founders, but also everyday innovators who have created everything from a Craigslist for people with disabilities to a Pakistani school for young boys who had been indoctrinated into the Taliban, Bill Jensen's interviews offer an inside look at the character of some of today’s greatest change makers.
I'm constantly amazed at how often I see people confusing an idea with an innovation. The difference becomes quite clear once you've run a few experiments with some element of the idea.
But there's the rub: Most people struggle to understand what they must do when it comes to testing an idea. In fact, they struggle with the idea of trying to fail early in order to succeed later. Instead, they assume their idea is a good one (it usually isn't), craft a business plan (which holds little relevance in today's disruptive environment), run some numbers (mostly fantasy resting on a leap of faith assumption) and seek investment capital to run with it.
In our world of excess everything, savvy innovators realize that less is actually best. They know that delivering a memorable and meaningful experience hinges on user engagement, which is best achieved through a subtractive approach. Anything excessive, confusing or wasteful is intelligently and cleverly removed, or never added in the first place.
Over the past six years I've looked at more than 2,000 ideas — products, services, processes and strategies. Those that achieved the maximum effect with an elegant, minimalist approach all had a few common characteristics.
"Stop trying to figure out what you are passionate about," argues Newport. Instead, the secret to building a career or business you love is to develop rare and valuable skills that you can then leverage to take control of your livelihood. In other words, get good--really good--and the passion will follow.