Friday, January 20, 2012

7 Sins of Innovation

Ryan Jacoby, head of IDEO NY is quoted in an article found here on 7 deadly sins he sees that affect innovation.

They are summarized as:

1: Thinking the answer is in here, rather than out there.

2: Talking about it rather than building it.

3: Executing when we should be exploring.

4: Being smart, afraid to be wrong.

5: Being impatient for the wrong things.

6: Confusing cross-functionality with diverse viewpoints.

7: Believing process will save you.

This list is definitely very pertinent to the creative design thinking process, it promotes prototyping, and building as well as risk and taking, without fear of failure. It also raises the issues with unrealistic expectations from management on innovative new products and encourages diversity in teams that are there to innovate. I like this list and it touches nicely on the major aspects of good design thinking methodologies and implementations.

Also in his talk at NYU Poly Ryan refers to a prototype as being a single question embodied. He then goes on to describes a pilot (study) as a collection of many prototypes embodied all at once, like asking many questions at the same time. What is important to innovation is to ask questions constantly in production, then trying and tweaking those results. Ryan thinks it is important to always be in Beta, constantly exploring new ideas and keeping what works. Of course this is hard to adopt because people are afraid to fail, and can be difficult to prove somethings effectiveness, does the idea scale and how much does it cost. These concerns make innovating difficult in a corporate setting. Ryan quotes that Innovation is fundamentally a human endeavor. Avoid the sins and innovation should get easier and more productive.

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