Is your team stuck and in need of an innovation injection?
Are there ways to structure brainstorming to enhance the creative process?
Is it possible to learn how to innovate and create?
Make Stone Soup
If you study innovation, creativity and success, you will likely know my friend Jeff DeGraff. I first met him when I was running a business in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Someone on my team introduced me to the “Dean of Innovation” when we were struggling with a problem. Dr. DeGraff is a professor at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. He has worked with some of the biggest global corporations including Apple, Visa, GE, Coca-Cola, and Johnson & Johnson.
His most recent book is Making Stone Soup: How to Jumpstart Innovation Teams. If you want the recipe for collaborative innovation, this colorful book will deliver while inspiring you with new ideas for your team.
“Innovation is created as a result of constructive conflict.” -Jeff DeGraff
Misconceptions About Innovation
Most of us think of innovation and think of a brilliant inventor, solitarily working when Eureka! Bam! Innovation strikes! You say most innovation doesn’t happen in that manner but, instead, happens in teams. Tell us more about that.
Any other common misconceptions about innovation?
Most people have a very limited concept of innovation. They think it’s a gadget or an electric powered vehicle. But these technological inventions are the very end of the innovation chain. What makes your smart phone light and compact has more do with breakthroughs in material science than it does creative design thinking. More so, innovations are often services or integrated solutions such as Google’s business model. Innovation is by definition a type of deviance from the norm, and therefore what makes an innovation is constantly morphing and progressing.
Conversely, the biggest truth that people miss is that innovation is the only value proposition that happens in the future for which we have no data now. You must feel your way through the ambiguity and accelerate the unavoidable failure cycle. That’s how successful inventors, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists do it. Excessive planning is the number one form of resistance when trying to make innovation happen. You have to take multiple shots on goal.
Most importantly, innovation is not produced through alignment. It is created as a result of constructive conflict. Enroll some deep and diverse domain experts and encourage some polite pushing and shoving, and you will be astounded by the hybrid solutions they create.