Every now and then, a book comes along that completely surprises me in terms of my own reactions to it, forcing me to unglue some of my preconceived ideas, and then stick them back together again into a whole new pattern. It threw me into a loop, trying to figure this out.
To be honest, I still have not fully figured out why I keep pondering over Rowan Gibson’s “The Four Lenses of Innovation: a power tool for creative thinking”, which will be published in early March, and why it is forcing me to reconcile different thoughts in my mind.
Rowan Gibson’s previous book was “Innovation to the Core- a blueprint for transforming the way your company innovates”, which he co-authored with Peter Skarzynski. It has been one of my favourites since it came out in 2008. I often dip into this book, refer to some of its thinking and frames that have emerged following its publication. One of those frames was the “The Four Lenses of Innovation”, outlined in Chapter Three, which became the basis for Rowan’s new book.
Tackling the culture and climate that is needed to create a thriving innovation environment is complex.
In this post I can only touch on certain points to trigger that deeper examination and offer the stimulus and considerations it needs.
Within the Executive Innovation Work Mat we have seven domains or components that need bringing together to form a new integrated knot.
The aim of the work mat is to draw the senior executive into the innovation process and to support them as they think through what is required to build a more sustaining and integrated innovation understanding within the organization. Their role is a strategic one that sets the conditions and overview on innovation.
The Executive Innovation Work Mat methodology requires investigation and engagement across the seven domains or components that make up the work mat. The aim of any work mat discussions undertaken with executives focuses upon bringing out the parts necessary for innovation to happen and that needs an integrated approach and lasting engagement from senior management.
In a series of articles I will be looking at each of the seven components within the work mat to raise questions to probe and prompt the necessary thinking that needs to be made in organizations determined to build a lasting innovation competence and structure.
I’ve already offered some opening thoughts on Governance and Innovation, for me one of the basic building blocks for innovation lies in creating the right conditions for an Environment to innovate.
So what are those environmental conditions required for innovation?
Last week I was driving home after a round trip of 700 kilometres and as I got caught up in some evening traffic, the sun and the rain played that magical trick of offering up a rainbow to the ones in that right position to see it. There was the actual end of a rainbow for us to see and it triggered two thoughts – the mythical pot of gold if you actually get at the rainbows end, and then my later thought “innovation is actually like a rainbow in so many ways”
The Rainbow Effect
They tell us you can never reach the end of the rainbow because the rainbow is a little like an optical illusion. The rainbow is formed because the actual raindrops act like thousands of little prisms that refract and reflect the sunlight towards you. So when the sun combines and those millions of raindrops have this light hitting them and split the colours for your eyes to see the effect.
Even when you change your position, the angles change and you see the rainbow at new angles of these little prisms. The ability to see the rainbow is that you have to be always be that certain distance away, even as you try to move towards the rainbow, it stays that distance away from you, so you can never get to the end of that rainbow. I just think for many of us, that innovation is often just like that! So it got me thinking. Continue reading