Thinking about innovation this evening – or more to the point, how to do it? Not the innovation one wishes to enact itself, but the act of implementing the innovation.
David Jones over on his blog included this quote:
According to historian Benoit Godin, for more than 2,500 years, the innovator was “a heretic, a revolutionary, a cheater.” Innovators brought little but trouble: They challenged the status quo and undermined the stability of the state. As late as the 1940s, innovation was seen as a form of deviant behavior — like crime or delinquency.
In all honesty I’m starting to believe you have to be the troublemaker – there is just no alternative way. No one in a hierarchy would knowingly sanction delinquency. So if institutions want to encourage innovation here’s an idea –
You get one free shot.
No questions, no punishment, no reprimand – that’s just the price to change the cultural constraints. It might be messy, it might break and fail – but you get to have a go regardless.