Innovation comes and goes as a passing business fad. From experience, I believe it is element that one can embed into the culture of every team. As I think of times where I have been able to innovate, there were only two in the last decade.
In each case, I was only able to grasp the idea in a crisis moment. In one case, I was under the gun. I had to apologize for a mistake made by my team. Even as I uttered the words, I knew it was a conversation that ignored the truth. My apology was appropriate but doing the write thing would only create a second problem. It was in my awareness of the real problem that I had a moment of inspiration.
In the second case, it was the moment of awareness that the presumed solution (by myself and others) was in fact a false positive. Innovation was just beyond my vision until I was understood that there were no traditional answers.
Yesterday I found myself talking about innovation’s spill-on problem. I thought my ideas were brilliant and yet it took months for the first one to be adopted. Even now, I think it sits unused on a shelf. As we talked about the problem, I found myself open to any and all ideas. I knew that I did not know.
As he shared his perspective on what was missing, I realized the key was always within my grasp. When one operates alone, it is only their intelligence that comes into play. When you engage others to supplement what you do not know more happens. It is not enough to think, it is important to use our intelligence with others.
Wisdom reminds to “remember how you were when you didn’t know God, led from one phony god to another, never knowing what you were doing, just doing it because everybody else did it? It’s different in this life. God wants us to use our intelligence, to seek to understand as well as we can.” (1 Corinthians 12.2)
We can grasp more.