Innovation: No magic bullet, no magic gene

I have come to conclude:

- There is no magic innovation gene or bullet.

- You can create the environment in which "innovation" can happen.

- The environment must include:
-- the ability to fail and try again,
-- recognize that not all things will succeed,
-- there must be a way to "escape" the cultural bubble in existence,
-- formality at the beginning of idea creation must be relaxed (no forms, business cases, project management plans, etc...),
-- people from varied backgrounds (experience, expertise, domain knowledge, etc.) must be able to interact on a regular basis,
-- less money is better than more (this forces you to think about ways to get stuff done), and
-- quick prototyping (aka the IDEO way) is explicitly encouraged.

However, the environment alone will not guarantee innovation. People must be willing, able, excited, engaged, diving into, running full speed, jumping up and down, tumbling, springing at the opportunity the environment allows/supports. The barrier to participate in such an environment must be zero; Any barriers one has to cross to get to such an environment reduces the innovation spark just a bit.

The challenge: reduce the barriers, create the environments, encourage the spark.


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