Innovation Talk with Scott berkun

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Guy Kawasaki spent some time with The Myths Of Innovation and The Art of Project Management author Scott Berkun, recently, and the highlights of the conversation they had can be found on Guy's blog. Below are a few pertinent textbites.

Perhaps you're a project manager, designer, or a creative working for an organization that may not always understand the value of original ideas - or may not be willing to accept the risks that come with being a market/industry leader. Perhaps you are a manager or department leader in charge of a few very creative people but don't always know how to hold on to them, or how to recruit them. Or perhaps you are a business leader who understands the power of innovation but doesn't know how to foster a culture of innovation within your organization. Either way, Scott is probably someone you should spend time with. (I'm sure he'll let you buy him a beer, but reading his books will be a good start.)

Here a good place to start:

Guy: Where do inventors and innovators get their ideas?

Scott: I teach a creative thinking course at the University of Washington, and the foundation is that ideas are combinations of other ideas. People who earn the label “creative” are really just people who come up with more combinations of ideas, find interesting ones faster, and are willing to try them out. The problem is most schools and organizations train us out of the habits.

Guy: What the toughest challenge that an innovator faces?

Scott: It’s different for every innovator, but the one that crushes many is how bored the rest of the world was by their ideas. Finding support, whether emotional, financial, or intellectual, for a big new idea is very hard and depends on skills that have nothing to do with intellectual prowess or creative ability. That’s a killer for many would-be geniuses: they have to spend way more time persuading and convincing others as they do inventing, and they don’t have the skills or emotional endurance for it.

Guy: Why do innovators face such rejection and negativity?

Scott: It’s human nature—we protect ourselves from change. We like to think we’re progressive, but every wave of innovation has been much slower than we’re told. The telegraph, the telephone, the PC, and the internet all took decades to develop from ideas into things ordinary people used. As a species we’re threatened by change and it takes a long time to convince people to change their behavior, or part with their money.

Read the rest of the interview here.

Have a great Thursday, everyone. ;)

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