Monday, November 28, 2005

Where there's a way, there's a will

Do you ever play the game where you turn around a phrase to see if it makes sense in reverse? You know, for example - plan your work, work your plan. That makes sense both ways. Some statements only work one way and not reversed. Sometimes, you'll discover that a phrase turned around has an interesting and relevant new meaning. Like the one we are using today to talk about innovation.

Most innovation processes and thinking seems to take the form of "Where there's a will, there's a way". In other words, if someone will just believe enough, and push enough and advocate enough, we make convert an idea to a new product or service. Regardless of the obstacles, the lack of compensation and process, a true believer can convert an idea into a new product. At least that seems to be the prevailing school of thought.

Suppose, though, that we turned the phrase around. What if we considered the phrase to be "Where there's a way, there's a will". Would by definition ideas move more quickly and would people become more involved if there were processes and systems to move ideas to launch effectively? Would an established, standard process mean greater likelihood of participation and results, over the solo hero approach? I have to think the answer is yes.

Why? In the first approach, the only ideas that will move forward are those with fearless champions who are willing to scale any obstacle to push their idea ahead. While these folks can be very vocal and aggressive champions, usually you'll find these people have an agenda when they push and idea, or that the reason they are pushing alone is that no one else bought in. Also, it is difficult, dangerous and time-consuming to be what I call a "solo hero". Tilting at windmills in your organization usually does not lead up the corporate ladder. So, in this case it is difficult and unusual to find the best "champions" and difficult and dangerous to try to push the idea through the corporate bureaucracy. What's not to like?

On the other hand, standard processes and systems around innovation means that anyone can contribute an idea, and know that the idea will receive some standard evaluation. No one person has to be the "hero" and everyone can participate. Open, transparent standards made many systems more effective. Consider the difference between early computing and where we sit today. Almost all of the advances are based on standards. With a standard approach, more people can participate. There's also the increasing marginal return of a network involved. As more people participate, the value of the network increases. So with standard processes and systems, the individual wins, the firm wins and the ideas flow.

What does this say about our innovation initiatives? As with any other process, define a standard business process around innovation and compensate and motivate people to use and follow the process. As they do, the value of the process, and the value of the ideas that result, will increase.
AddThis Social Bookmark Button
posted by Jeffrey Phillips at 1:40 PM

34 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like what you have here! I have a lucid dreaming site I think you might enjoy.

1:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice blog you have. Recently I created a site about lucid dreaming and would love you to take a look to see what you think

1:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have a great blog. Please feel free to check out my site Make Money Online and leave me your opinion on it.

3:12 PM  
Anonymous Generic Viagra Online said...

Let's assume for the sake of argument that a sales pipeline can be a rough model for an idea pipeline.
lets try out this........

12:11 AM  
Anonymous how to stay erect said...

i agree with you. i had similiar problem and i used what you ave taught and it worked like magic

11:13 PM  
Anonymous wisata kuliner bandung said...

i agree with you. i had similiar problem and i used what you ave taught and it worked like magic

11:13 PM  
Anonymous belajar internet marketing said...

i agree with you. i had similiar problem and i used what you ave taught and it worked like magic

11:14 PM  
Anonymous delayed orgasm said...

i agree with you. i had similiar problem and i used what you ave taught and it worked like magic

11:14 PM  
Anonymous delaying ejaculation said...

i agree with you. i had similiar problem and i used what you ave taught and it worked like magic

11:14 PM  
Anonymous how to last longer in bed said...

i agree with you. i had similiar problem and i used what you ave taught and it worked like magic

11:14 PM  
Anonymous how to avoid premature ejaculation said...

i agree with you. i had similiar problem and i used what you ave taught and it worked like magic

11:14 PM  
Anonymous how to prevent premature ejaculation said...

i agree with you. i had similiar problem and i used what you ave taught and it worked like magic

11:15 PM  
Anonymous how to prolong ejaculation said...

i agree with you. i had similiar problem and i used what you ave taught and it worked like magic

11:15 PM  
Anonymous konsultan seo said...

Let's assume for the sake of argument that a sales pipeline can be a rough model for an idea pipeline.
lets try out this

9:50 AM  
Anonymous asuransi pendidikan said...

Let's assume for the sake of argument that a sales pipeline can be a rough model for an idea pipeline.
lets try out this

9:51 AM  
Anonymous action coach said...

Let's assume for the sake of argument that a sales pipeline can be a rough model for an idea pipeline.
lets try out this

9:51 AM  
Anonymous jadi artis said...

Let's assume for the sake of argument that a sales pipeline can be a rough model for an idea pipeline.
lets try out this

9:51 AM  
Anonymous cara dapat duit said...

Let's assume for the sake of argument that a sales pipeline can be a rough model for an idea pipeline.
lets try out this

9:52 AM  
Anonymous kerja sama investasi said...

Let's assume for the sake of argument that a sales pipeline can be a rough model for an idea pipeline.
lets try out this

9:53 AM  
Anonymous coach indonesia said...

Let's assume for the sake of argument that a sales pipeline can be a rough model for an idea pipeline.
lets try out this

9:53 AM  
Anonymous jajanan bandung said...

Let's assume for the sake of argument that a sales pipeline can be a rough model for an idea pipeline.
lets try out this

9:53 AM  
Anonymous coklat valentine said...

Let's assume for the sake of argument that a sales pipeline can be a rough model for an idea pipeline.
lets try out this

9:53 AM  
Anonymous Panduan SEO said...

Let's assume for the sake of argument that a sales pipeline can be a rough model for an idea pipeline.
lets try out this

9:53 AM  
Anonymous konsultan perusahaan said...

I think people fear idea management and innovation because there's a significant number of ideas that simply won't plan out.......Nice statement.....keep posting

11:09 PM  
Anonymous belajar internet marketing said...

this day I've been searching for information on various issues, this I found very good and I would like to congratulate you for your work.

11:10 PM  
Anonymous parcel lebaran said...

I think that this post is one of the best that i have read in my life, congrats you did a great job,.

11:12 PM  
Anonymous delayed orgasm said...

the difference between the content spammers and most corporate innovators is that the smaller

11:13 PM  
Anonymous how to avoid premature ejaculation said...

I'm writing to you because I just came across a business that I think has great potential. It lets you save money on almost everything. Make money from almost everything,

11:13 PM  
Anonymous konsultan seo said...

If growth is important to a firm, and if growth is dependent on offering existing products and services to new customers

11:13 PM  
Anonymous tabungan pendidikan said...

innovation is very natural and happens in the "real world" as new plants and animals colonize new ecological niches.

11:13 PM  
Anonymous mengecilkan perut said...

I wonder how you got so good. This is really a fascinating blog, lots of stuff that I can get into. One thing I just want to say is that your Blog is so perfect

11:14 PM  
Anonymous how to teach dogs tricks said...

We generally think most specifically about the risk associated with a new product introduction

11:14 PM  
Anonymous easy way to get pregnant said...

I would be aware that as somebody who really doesn’t comment to blogs a lot (in actual fact, this may be my first put up), I don’t think the time period “lurker” is very flattering to a non-posting reader.

11:14 PM  
Anonymous stop pre ejaculation said...

Thanks a lot for this time sharing about WHERE THERE'S A WAY, THERE'S A WILL. This is really an interesting article.

8:58 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home