First up, from John Maynard Keynes in The General Theory of Employment, Interest & Money:
The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones.
As I’ve said before, when you’re innovating, you have to break connections before you can make new ones.
This is a big part of the challenge in diffusing innovation – and one to which we often fail to pay sufficient attention.
The second quote is from my favourite management guru – Tom Peters, from an article in the Chicago Tribune:
Life is pretty simple: You do some stuff. Most fails. Some works. You do more of what works. If it works big, others quickly copy it. Then you do something else. The trick is in the doing something else. You must take pot shots at today’s star before you are mimicked. Today’s radiantly blooming flowers are tomorrow’s mulch. Don’t forget that for a moment. But don’t think about it too long, either.
Saul Kaplan frames this sentiment nicely too: Thing Big, Start Small, Scale Fast.
I don’t have any grand conclusions today, I just thought that both quotes nicely sum up a couple of the key issues that we face in innovation. The network view of diffusion is important – and the importance of breaking connections is often overlooked. And the Peters quote is dead on – it’s one of the best summaries of how to manage well that I’ve ever run across.
Two ideas to think about, and, more importantly, to act upon.
(Ralf Schwartz writes an interesting follow-up post on the derivation of the Peters quote on his lead/marke site which is worth checking out.)