As I read the Ten Faces of Innovation by Tom Kelley I am more and more convinced that there’s a lot here for organizations who really want to innovate. There’s the possibility of learning how to be proactive about "beating the devil’s advocate and driving creativity throughout your organization (the subtitle of the book)."
Chapter 4 is a great read, talking about innovative hurdlers like Charles Lindbergh and Richard Drew (the legendary 3M innovator who developed both masking tape and scotch tape). Lots of other stories illustrate the truth that every organization needs a few people who, when "confronted with a road ahead that looks too steep, …approach it from a new angle (p. 92)."
I loved the closing section on the status quo (dealing with it is always on my mind!) and especially these two lines: "By nature, experts are often the guardians of conventional wisdom. They have deep knowledge of what has worked in the past, and that knowledge can be extremely valuable. But sometimes a new idea or method, or simply a fresh environment, can make the old views suddenly look outdated (p.111)." That is so true!
Or how about this closing line, "Ignore the experts and sometimes the walls in front of you turn out to have doors (p. 112)."
QUESTION: Do you have any hurdlers in your organization?