Polar vortex and innovation vortex are both deep freezes
America is presently trapped in their “polar vortex” We are reading reports telling us that temperature records were shattered across the United States on Tuesday as the polar vortex continued to take hold, with all 50 states experiencing freezing temperatures at some point in the day.
As I’m sure many experiencing this extreme weather that is giving us this polar vortex most have become aware of what is causing it. It is a circulating pattern of strong winds flowing around a low-pressure system, which normally sits over the Arctic during winter.It is not a single storm.
These winds tend to keep the bitter cold air locked in the Arctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere. However, when the vortex breaks down or splits into two, the vortex becomes distorted and dips much further, allowing this to spill farther southward than you would normally find it, sending this very cold air further south.
For many organizations they are also presently trapped in an innovation vortex.
Often we forget to look back as we constantly get into that habit of always wanting to simply keep moving forward. So, sometimes I would recommend we stop and reflect. I, for myself, keep returning to great thinkers in innovation to remind me and these can often bring me back on track in avoiding certain traps.
Part Three of the Cognitive Traps we find ourselves in. Go here for Part One and Part Two
I’ve always valued one terrific observation of Professor Clayton Christensen (of many thoughts) where he talks of the core theories of innovation. One small part:
He states “theory helps to block out the noise and to amplify the signal”
So I looked back at a theory to go forward to reduce our cognitive traps
If we link back into Everett Rogers Diffusion of Innovation for much, it is not a bad place to go. He firstly offers us his five stages of adoption or the decision stages of the innovation-process of Knowledge, Persuasion, Decision, Implementation and Confirmation. Continue reading
Help seems to come from new quarters – unlocking our minds and breaking free from our cognitive biases.
Part two of the Cognitive Traps we find ourselves in. Part one is here
So how can we break free from what holds us back? As we have these cognitive biases then we have to consciously work on reducing their effect in our judgements, decisions and actions. We need to break out of those cognitive chains that can hold us back and limit our innovation thinking
I think there is so much help at hand
If I take www.innovationgames.com, as one example, of where Luke Hohmann and his team are taking us. I think there is this important emerging ‘rush’ into games-based tools partly because they can significantly help offset cognitive bias. They allow us to become more engaged in collaborative thinking. Continue reading
I suspect we are all cognitively trapped most of the time. We are all more ‘hard-wired’ than we would care to admit too. That cognitive bias that ‘permits’ us to make constant errors of judgement, ignore often the advice around us and certainly gloss over the knowledge provided or staring us in the face. Innovation does need us to break out of these cognitive biases if we want to really develop something very different, more transformational.
We should all recognize this constrain we all have, it might help our innovation activity. We are often guilty of being overconfident, actually staying nicely in a rut. Just how many times do we offer ill-framed challenges from lazy thinking or fail to offer the proper context into the discussions early enough, to avoid conversations that wasted our times or reduce the recommendations based on inadequate information. We also simply allow poor idealization because we did not prepare enough or we want to immediately link back something new into our realm of experience, screening out emerging alternatives. We do these, all of the time. Continue reading