Monday, October 31, 2011

Ten Innovation Myths

Over the past year I’ve shifted my presentation materials so they include mostly pictures and 96 point font. That’s good for audiences (at least, I think it is), but bad when I get the kind of request that landed in my in-box last week.

“I’m doing an innovation update at one of our meetings and I’m hoping you can assist me with some conversation starters,” a senior leader said to one of our clients. “The main point of the presentation is to get the audience thinking proactively and positively about how they can contribute to innovation.”

I had presented a slideshow on this exact topic in April. Unfortunately, my slides consisted of a big picture of a black box, a photo of Steve Jobs, headshots of eight academics, a screenshot of an Old Spice advertising campaign, and a picture of my favorite haircut place in Singapore. The slides are pretty, but they won’t help a thirdparty who lacks the context.

So, my colleague Josh Suskewicz and I put our heads together and came up with the 10 innovation myths that we encounter most often in the field.

Myth
Reality
Innovation is random Innovation is a discipline — it can be measured and managed. Consider how Procter & Gamble’s structured approach to innovation allowed it to triple its innovation success rate and double the size of a typical initiative.
Only creative geniuses can innovate Innovation is distinct from creativity. While creativity can help, people who aren’t intrinsically creative can create high-impact innovation if they follow the right process.
You’re either an innovator or you’re not Research recounted in The Innovator’s DNA described how innovation is about 30 percent nature and 70 percent nurture.

Read the rest at Scott’s Harvard Business Review blog.

Scott D. Anthony is managing director of Innosight Asia-Pacific.

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