Innovation: Navigating the unknown

by | Nov 15, 2023 | Innovation

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Innovating is like walking into a dark room that you’ve never been in before.

You can’t see ahead. You take small steps to feel your way. You’re alert and actively seeking information from all your senses.

You take off your shoes to get more detailed information from your bare feet. You can now feel the texture of the floor. The floor feels smooth and hard.

With your next step, you feel that the floor is soft and padded. You assume that you’re now standing on carpet.

Because of this information, and based on your past experiences, you predict that there could be a coffee table or chair nearby and so you take another step, smaller and with greater care to reduce the risk of hitting an object and falling over.

THUD… Your foot gently hits something hard. You feel it with your toes and reach out with your hands to feel what seems to be a table.

You consider this new information and decide to pivot 90 degrees to avoid the obstacle. You take more steps, changing course as new information arises. Finally, you get to the other side of the room.

This is innovation.

It’s filled with uncertainty.

And with uncertainty, you can’t sit down and plan it from start to end.

Instead, you innovate by acting, seeking out information, and using it to inform your next step.

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