Today most executives seem to be time starved. They are constantly reacting to daily events, for fix focusing and fixing short-term performance. This applies to the top executive down to the most junior.
This time-starved environment has real implications for innovation.
If we don’t sit down and think through issues and implication of our present performance around innovation, how can we close the gaps and improve it? We just simply don’t seem to have a more systematic, connected road map within our thinking that points the way to the improving longer-term as we keep doing this ‘reacting’ only.
We have such a limited amount of time; to pause, to evaluate, or redesign. We equally don’t feel capable to simply assign this over, even to outsiders to help. We are far too challenged and driven, often far too inbreed into thinking that “our solutions can only be the only solutions to our problems or challenges”.
Finding better solutions to this ‘internal’ trap is my role
As an external consultant or advisor, I see a mistake, upon mistake happening. It is not from a lack of trying or a lack of working within the abilities or situations many find themselves, it is often that lack of alternatives, that real ability to appreciate and understand that might be considered. It is all about ‘connected learning’ We simply press on regardless.
It often reminds me of the famous part of the poem “Charge of the Light Brigade” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
For today’s “valley of innovation death,” we could rewrite this “Charge Of The ‘Innovation Light’ Brigade
Into the valley of innovation death, I pushed six hundred ideas,
Forward the noble innovator!
“We need more Innovation, Charge with all your energy and might” the CEO said.
Theirs not to reply, theirs not to reason why, theirs but to do and die,
Into the valley of Innovation Death rode us all, happy to simply charge
Knowing all those great ideas and potential innovations will wither and die
All without any real understanding
“Forward, the Innovation Light Brigade!”
So tell me “was there not just someone just a little dismayed?”
Does it really need to be like this?
Often there is no time for a thoughtful analysis, a depth of thinking, a platform of knowledge and connectors to bounce this off. Yet there is a growing need to discuss this, the risk of wrongly innovating, of dealing with increased failures all seems to call for solutions to help but where?
We should be asking this :Where do I quickly go to gain some innovation knowledge or insight, as I simply have no time to sift through it all.
We are often faced with the death of a thousand cuts.
Often that precious lack of dedicated time to investigate, to question, to deepen understanding, simply to relate too and interpret innovation is a key missing ingredient. This is a where the external perspective can fill critical gaps; it can become the extra resource, that runs in parallel.
I believe it is the time where the value of external, dedicated innovation thinking through a coach, mentor or advisor has a place within the time-starved innovators thinking. It can provide such an incredible return on investment (ROI) if they translate into winning products, services or new concepts.
Also it might help provide a more comprehensive delivery of innovation understanding and plugging individual gaps by delivering thinking that bridges many of those current gaps I seem to find.
Is there space for an “innovation thinking guru?” I believe so, do you?
It just seems to me they simply don’t have this luxury to think.
Technology is rapidly taking over this thinking role, we simply revert often blindly to find that isolated answer. We don’t make the important connection in its implications or possible consequences. We adapt it, apply it and add often further sticking plaster to our innovation thinking. There is a different way.
We often are simply not connecting all the necessary the dots, we are constantly chasing the moving dots, never catching up with them as we are time-starved, yet we know deep down this is wrong
We should think more about the gaps, the issues and most importantly for us, the implications this has on innovation and the future solutions and growth we should be focusing upon.
The more we simply react to the ‘issue on hand’ and don’t think things through and apply a more connected thinking, that can be built not just from our own deepening experiences but in consciously being open to exploring our situation,perhaps with a trusted advisor.
We never spent the time really learning and understanding all the ‘connected’ parts involved in innovation management. We should!