In linguistics, there is the concept of deep structure and surface structure. By digging into these, we can gain some insights into the way innovation really works.
Being different is not the same as being differentiated. One of my mantras in business and in life is, “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” Just because they could create a unique experience at the Revel that bucked the design used by every other casino, didn’t mean they should.
Everyone has unconscious biases. We make assumptions about everything. This is not necessarily bad. The brain is wired for survival. Everything we have done in the past has kept us alive, and therefore the brain wants to perpetuate the past. If we didn’t make assumptions, we would have to process all information as though it were the first time we were in that situation. However, there are times when assumptions can be dangerous.
In life and in business, we are often told, “don’t bring me problems, bring me solutions.”
From my perspective, this is bad advice. I want people to bring me bigger and better problems. Or, as the fortune cookie I got last night (above) implied, if you don’t focus on the right question, the answers/solutions may be useless.
Unfortunately, most people continue to work on solutions to problems that don’t matter.
Modern innovation demands sustainability. Stephen Shapiro, an expert on cultural innovation, group collaboration and open innovation, suggests there are three distinctions that need to be identified to create a repeating upholding innovative idea. This is done by addressing the distinction between challenges vs. ideas, process not single events, and diversity never singularity.