Can You Balance Innovation and Execution?
An interesting academic study was done a few years ago involving the lockers of professional American football players. As a general rule, the study found that offensive players’ lockers tended (Can You Balance Innovation and Execution?
WARNING: prepare for rant mode!
This is the kind of sensible, well explained (via analogy) article that you find often in business literature today discussing the supposed tension between creativity / innovation on the one hand and efficiency / predictability on the other. It claims that you need to somehow strike a balance between these two apparently contradictory forces. That you have to live with the trade-off.
THE ONLY PROBLEM IS THAT THE FUNDAMENTAL PREMISES ARE DEAD WRONG!
1) What if I could show you a structured, orderly process designed specifically to enhance and increase individual and group creativity and innovation? The Creative Problem Solving (CPS) approach is both structured and orderly (even if not always sequential – more on that some other time), yet it is highly creative and drives innovation faster and better than anything that has preceded it. The new Thinking Skills Model (TSM) is a fantastic way to both teach and use CPS effectively for an individual and for groups. It is highly structured and permits facilitators to maintain order amidst the high energy required for effective creativity and innovation. So you have a paradox: a structured process to promote randomness and disorder and enable them to be used functionally and effectively. Best of all, the CPS:TSM does this repeatedly and predictably.
So much for trade-offs and dichotomies.
So I say: throw off the shackles of “current understanding” that chain you to past understandings which no longer are true. Join the revolution! Move away from the old threadbare approaches which work but only marginally. Embrace the new and except that when it comes to generating ideas, you can do it faster, better, and cheaper than ever before, all while INCREASING the control you have over the results.
2) What if I could show you how a decentralized approach that often seems to be disorganized yet is hyper-focused on the one key need required to move your business forward? Space being limited, I shall have to describe the FAMRA approach to Performance Improvement another time. (Sorry!) Suffices to say that this to puts to rest another false premise from the article.