this is the topic of a recently released book by Steven Johnson, titled &quot;Where good ideas come from- The natural history of innovation&quot;. In his book, Johnson points out a couple of interesting observations that I'd like to start with.
First, rarely do innovative ideas just pop out of nowhere. Most exceptional ideas begin life as a mere hunch...a half-baked thought that rattles around in our brain. Some of these keep us awake at night, NOTE: You can consider taking out this and the next 3 slides and replacing it with one that actually plays the YouTube video referenced. It’s very good and works well with audiences. If you need help embedding the video, let me know (Louis Richardson)
while others plant themselves in our mind and then might even go dormant for some period.
But what often happens is that your hunch is introduced to a hunch lurking about in someone else's head and
that collision results in the breakthrough thought...something bigger than just the sum of their parts.
Now don't expect for those with the hunches to just jump out and shout to get your attention. Most innovative ideas happen below our normal attention radar scan. I remember watching a kindergarten class performing on stage. They were all issued various rhythm instruments...sticks to hit together, small blocks with sandpaper sides to brush against one another...and of course...the triangle. At the end of the few &quot;Rhythm&quot; songs, they were to perform a few more songs without the instruments. So as the next song started up, each kid simply took their sticks, small blocks, etc. and stuffed them in their pants pockets....except the small young lad with the triangle. Even as his classmates sang along, he struggled with storing his triangle. He would stick on edge in his pocket only to find it was too big for the opening. He shifted it around to another edge in an effort to comply and move on...but was constantly disappointed. Eventually every eye in the audience was watching him work his problem. Then like a stroke....
he simply put the clanger into his pocket, leaving just enough of it exposed on which to hang the triangle. He then looked up, unimpressed with himself, and joined the chorus. Of course, the entire audience almost applauded his success, which incidently caught the teacher/conductor by surprise, because she was focused on the whole performance to even see this small innovation play out. Innovations and good ideas are like that. They often happen on the fringe. Many are brilliant solutions, but may not even be fully appreciated by their inventor...because they may not see the full picture. And our managers, like the conductor, are often so focused on the specific performance that they fail to even see the innovative moments that occur.
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Louis Richardson Social Business Evangelist IBM [email_address] www.twitter.com/inter_vivos www.linkedin.com/in/louisrichardson www.slideshare.net/louisrichardson www.youtube.com/louisrichardsonjr about.me/louisrichardson Thank you. It’s been my pleasure. www.ibm.com/social