Extreme Innovation is about pushing things as far out as you can- and then pushing some more! After years running client projects I can’t remember one where an organisation’s internal conservatism did not dampen down the project results. One client , now chairman of a major UK retailer once said that we should never tailor anything to make it more ‘acceptable’ to them… “We’ll do a great job of squashing these ideas into an ‘us-shaped’ hole”, he said.
How right he was! The lesson for me was to push harder on client projects- they are paying for innovative thinking , not the same stuff they do everyday, not for a chat to make them feel better about the world.
Challenging the status quo requires us to be genuinely different and original. Restless pursuit of something original requires proper thinking and a fearlessness of the discomfort we all feel at the edge of what is possible . Obvious.
Next time you are about to present to clients asking for innovation, or running sessions on innovative thinking / process..it think about the edges, if you don’t have precipice anxiety …you haven’t pushed it hard enough yet!
- The 20/80 Rule for Innovation: It’s All About the Edges (inc.com)
- The Innovative Employee: Traits, Knowledge and Company Culture (innovationmanagement.se)
- Extreme Innovation (bravenewbusiness.wordpress.com)