The Idea Dude


Monday, March 27, 2006

Disruptive thinking

Today, we were debating why a certain strategy under consideration wouldn't work because it has been tried before and customer acquisition would take too long. I couldn't help but wonder if it was the strategy that was bad or the execution. Einstein said that we cannot solve the problems with the same thinking that created them in the first place. Sometimes it needs someone with a totally different background and perspective to propose something that seems to be orthogonal but may well hold the key to the solution even though it may sound preposterous at the onset. Too often, our aversion to risk and pressure from investors and management to get it right the first time is our undoing. Throwing caution to the wind is not what I'm advocating but if you are serious in being innovative, it requires disruptive thinking which is an evolutionary process with many failures along the way. That's a tough thing to do especially since all of us are taught that failure is bad and we have to try to avoid it at all costs. Success and failure are endpoints and in the realm of startups, are pretty much unpredictable, anyone who has says otherwise is trying to sell you a business plan.

I liked what John Maxwell says in his latest issue regarding personal growth. Firstly, personal growth should not be an accidental development but an intentional one. Secondly, we don't mature momentarily but over time. I would add, not many people are introspective enough on a continual basis. In our fast changing world, we need to continually question ourselves whether the assumptions we made yesterday are still valid today. Note, that is different from second guessing ourselves, which has its roots in indecisiveness. I'm referring to a critical assessment to ensure that we have the right skills, maturity, knowledge and energy for the job at hand and that the data we rely upon to make decisions are still valid and in context. Too many folks today confuse management and leadership. The former is about creating processes for predictability and accountability, the latter is about helping all those around us to cope with unpredictability and uncertainty.

If only I was half as smart as I thought I was 20 years ago...

Like most dreamers, I always think that the impossible just takes a little longer. Here's a twist to Archimedes lever principle as applied to the web....if everyone read this blog, I could change the world...I can now justify why I spend very little time trying to get into the Technorati top 100, after all I could be dangerous to mankind...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Innovation Paradox: The Success of Failure, the Failure of Success by Richard Evans Farson, Ralph Keyes

--Check out this book. The title says it all

11:27 AM  
Blogger The Idea Dude said...

Thanks. This one is still stuck on my to read list, but heard great things about.

9:36 AM  

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