This weekend I read a wonderful leadership book titled "Brave New Work" by Aaron Dignan. Mr. Dignan challenges us, as leaders, to assess the internal "operating system" of business and break through the traditional norms that are holding us back. This book urges an answer to the question "What's stopping you from doing the best work of your life?"
I was especially inspired by Aaron's "innovation everywhere" mindset. This article is an excerpt from the Innovation chapter and my brief reflection on learning points.
"...product innovation isn't the only kind of innovation we need. Not even close. Every activity in the organization is a black box of potential energy. If every team isn't constantly learning and improving in ways big and small, we're missing our chance to pursue our purpose with everything we've got. Innovation can happen intentionally, centrally or out at the edge. We need to ensure that we've thought about, and made space for, evolution at all levels."
"We want our organizations to be more agile and adaptive. What that means in practice is that we want to get better at learning, better at finding and trying new things."... "When teams are truly empowered, customer focused, and functionally integrated, it can be hard to say where 'innovation' happens."
My reflection: Innovation is different from invention. The moment that we stop approaching innovation as a deliverable is the moment that we can embrace innovation as a mindset - it applies to everyone in our business. If the outside world is changing faster than the internals of our organization... the end is unpleasantly predictable. But, with an "innovation everywhere" mindset, continuous improvement can be nurtured from every facet of the business. Thank you Aaron Dignan, I truly enjoyed your book!
Aaron Dignan, "Brave New Work", (New York: Portfolio/Penguin, 2019) p104 &108