“Sometimes all it takes is a quick flash of inspiration that comes at you like a bolt out of the blue!” – #Futurist Jim Carroll
It’s that time of the year as summer finally arrives in the NorthEast, and so that became a little bit of inspiration last night as I began to think about the next day.
People try too hard to be innovative – they think there is some process that needs to be followed, a formula to be understood, a roadmap that provides a pathway for success.
In most cases, it’s not like that at all.
Serendipity is the name of the game; random moments of brilliance are the reality; and absolute randomness is the solution to the complexity of the puzzle.
Over the years, I’ve had many odd requests from clients. A ’10 point plan’ that people can tape to their cubicle to ensure their innovation engine is firing on all cylinders. An ‘innovation action plan’ that can be assigned to everyone to follow. If you can believe it, ‘innovation flowcharts’ that must be followed to ensure success.
None of this will work.
You can’t institutionalize creativity; you can’t harness random moments of brilliance ; you can’t turn on an imagination machine like a car engine.
Much of what happens with the invention of the future comes from sudden, short sharp shocks of simple moments that are often not repeated. Great ideas can’t be prescribed – sometimes, they just happen.
So if you are seeking a formula, stop searching.
Instead, create a culture that encourages these moments of insight, and a supportive leadership mindset that captures them quickly.
Like lightning in a bottle.