"The Innovation Paradox - Applied Creativity in Organizations"
The Innovation Paradox - Applied Creativity in Organizations Avinoam Kolodny Technion - Electrical Engineering Department June 2007 * F. Chu, A. Kolodny, S. Maital and D. Perlmutter, “The innovation paradox: Reconciling creativity & discipline – How winning organizations combine inspiration with perspiration,” Proceedings of IEEE International Engineering Management Conference, October 2004. 1 G-Number “… In every good project, there is a time when you have to shoot the engineer and start production”. (Anonymous Intel employee, CA ~1980) 2 G-Number Story: The Chinese Emperor and the Painter 3 G-Number The Innovation Paradox Creativity and project implementation often require contradictory mindsets Creativity Project Organization Chaos Discipline Hierarchy Innovation/Surprise Predictability Stability Flexible time Fixed schedule Best effort Guarantee Commitment High risk Low risk Safety Inspiration Perspiration Individual Teamwork 4 G-Number Need Both: Creativity and Organization Win the competition by creativity Use organizational power to execute The conflicting values must be reconciled! "סיסמה ניהולית: "גם וגם 5 G-Number Applied Creativity Method to reconcile creativity and discipline Not by tradeoff, by synergy! Creativity (inspiration) Creativity Discipline Discipline (perspiration) We identified five approaches to applied creativity, used by successful organizations 6 G-Number 1) “The Great Dictator” A single creative leader Comes up with ideas Decides which of them to implement, and how The organization follows him in discipline mode 7 G-Number 2) “Separation of Forces” Arbitrator Creative Implementation Department Department 8 G-Number 3) “This Train Runs on Time” Separate project phases, driven by a timetable: – Ideation – Proof of concept – Prototyping Disciplined – Production Implementation Time Chaotic Creativity 9 G-Number 4) “Elders of the Tribe” Ideas are advanced by young creative members Cross-examination by experienced members Culture: – Manage for discipline – Admiration of creativity 10 G-Number 5) “Head in the Clouds, Feet on the Ground” Same people iteratively shift gears between creativity and discipline: Creative, wild brainstorming – No idea is rejected (“head in the clouds”) Detailed evaluation of ideas – By practicality and benefit (“feet on the ground”) 11 G-Number Challenges of Applied Creativity Conceiving new ideas Choosing a good idea Managing execution 12 G-Number What is the Right Approach for My Organization? There are probably many more ways to achieve Applied Creativity Find an approach which suits your organization’s – culture – structure – people Essential issue: Let the people know the organization’s problems and difficulties! 13 G-Number