Innovating means that we are seeking out uncertainty. The ideas of scaled investments and affordable losses can help us reduce this uncertainty, and increase our chances of succeeding.
If we try to avoid short-term risk, we actually increase the long-term risk of catastrophic failure for our organisations. If risk-aversion keeps us from innovating, we’re thinking about risk all wrong.
“The Googles, Amazons, Apples, Netflixes, and Capital Ones … don’t insist on performing lots of interesting experiments because they’re rich; they’re rich because they insist on performing lots of interesting experiments.”
We often think that great new ideas get adopted rapidly. Unfortunately, this is untrue. In order to innovate effectively, we must understand the role that time plays in innovation.
We’ve reached a point where startups can base their business model on the rapid testing of multiple prototypes. Scott Adams of Dilbert fame argues that this basically makes starting up a big psychology experiment. If we are in established firms, we need to build some skills to compete in this environment.
The business environment is changing – adapt or perish, some say. But there’s a third choice – invent the future ourselves. Here are three skills that we need to help us do this.
Here’s the secret to innovation: there are no secrets. The only way to get better at innovating is to do the work – get better at experimenting.
Can large firms pivot? There are examples of firms that have, but not a lot of them. It’s a challenging process in the best of times, but they often try to do it in a crisis, which is even tougher. Your best strategy is to start experimenting now.
Should “innovation” only be used to refer to big, world-changing ideas? No. This is actually a dangerous approach to innovating. The biggest hurdle is actually getting started – it’s more important to put effort into that.
DK interviewed me for a podcast last week – this bit on how to use experimenting build your innovation culture is my favourite part from it.
Here is a simple process that will help you innovate more effectively.