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Recently on the blog
The concept of Open Innovation (OI) has gained tremendous traction in recent years, as companies realize the potential offered by capabilities, technology and resource outside the organization’s borders. The OI principles outlined in Henry Chesbrough’s eponymous book from 2003 fall into two main areas, “inside out” when your assets are used by others; and “outside in” when you use other people’s. Most OI uses the latter approach, and companies who employ it well need to consider many different things, one of which is how to structure and organize their OI efforts.
I’m a big fan of the book Obliquity by John Kay. Despite the clumsy nature of the word, the message is simple. Objectives are rarely achieved in straight lines, you get there by oblique means. So if you want to achieve something, don’t aim directly for it, do the right things and you’ll eventually get there.
It’s an old saying that if you continue to do what you’ve always done, you’ll continue to get what you’ve always got. If you keep on banging your head against the metaphorical brick wall, your headache won’t go away, it’ll just get worse. It’s the same with creativity and idea generation. New products and services will continue on the same themes they always have if you have the same input and approach.
It’s the stuff of legend that Henry Ford is reported as saying “if I’d asked people what they wanted, they’d have said a faster horse”. This statement is trotted out (sorry….) to justify not doing consumer research on new products and services. The proposition is that consumers can’t tell you what they want; that they are unimaginative and uninterested until they see and touch the magical answer to all of their prayers, which our product will provide.