Innovation begins with people, but only when the process allows it. Process Trumps People.
A quick break to read about innovation can be a great way to recharge the batteries. Here are a couple good articles to get the juices flowing:
Guy Kawasaki provides a sneak peek at I, Woz the autobiography of Steve Wozniak, and how he and Steve Jobs innovated at Apple.
The book ends with Woz’s thoughts on being a great engineer:
- Don’t waver.
- See things in gray-scale.
- Work alone.
- Trust your instincts.
Woz’s advice to work alone helps with us to avoid process.
Politics Trumps Process
Jeffrey Phillips proposes a Get out of jail free card for innovators to escape the shackles of their corporate culture.
There are several powerful corporate cultural roadblocks to innovation. They generally fall into one of three categories:
What’s our motivation?[…]
How do we turn the battleship?[…]
How do we justify the expense?[…]
The last of Jeffrey’s points is the most interesting one – with pressure to find cost-reduction projects, it becomes a political risk to fight for projects that generate new revenue streams. In other words, bottom-line growth is en vogue, while top-line growth isn’t.
We presented the top ten ways to prevent innovation a while ago. In it we show how to build a process that can trump innovative people, and also encourage politics that will squash anyone who finds a crack in the process armor.