Friday, August 10, 2007

Innovative Thinking

From How to Change the World:

This is one of those times when I deviate from my normal blog entries and try to give readers something they can use in general, irregardless of whether you're a businessman, a writer, an employee, etc.

Here are two free PDFs from Matthew May, author of The Elegant Solution. (Don't worry, they're short so it's worth your time even if you don't like reading books on the computer.) One is Mind of the Innovator: Taming the Traps of Traditional Thinking and here's an excerpt:
#3: Not Invented Here (N.I.H.)

‘Not invented here’ means that blindspots are causing tunnel vision...or a lack of perspective.

NIH means “Hey, if I (we) didn’t come up with it, it won’t work. It is of no use.”

We adopt this mind-set unknowingly... shutting out another person’s or group’s idea immediately and without due consideration merely because they came up with it. Here’s the proof: Researchers repeatedly observed lobby elevators for an 8-hour period. In over 95% of the times when the elevator button was already lit (had been pushed), people would push it again. By nature, we don’t trust other people’s solutions!
The other is
Elegant Solutions: Breakthrough Thinking the Toyota Way. Here's an excerpt:
Number 6: Leverage the Limits

All artists work within the confines of their chosen media, and it’s the limits that spur their creativity. The canvas edge, the marble block, the eight musical notes—the resources are finite. So it’s how you view and manage them that makes all the difference.

And that’s the big question: Are limits preventing innovation, or enabling it?

There’s only one right answer. Innovation demands exploiting limits, not ignoring them.

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