Here are the thoughts taken from a lecture of Judy Estrin (CEO of JLABS, LLC) on innovation recorded in October 2008 at Stanford University:
Core Values of Innovation:
Curiosity and ability to frame open questions. Instead of ‘Do you need this feature?’ you could ask ‘What are you currently working on?’ or ‘What are your problems?’.
Self-assessment, ability to question yourself about the direction you are heading and make adjustments along the way.
Risk-taking and willingness to fail. Try something and accept potential failure in order to take lessons from it. If failure is a problem, nobody will try anything.
Openess to share knowledge and thoughts. Be open to surprises.
Patience to let things grow. Mutual trust among the team members.
Judy underlines, that it is important to address all of these points and find/grow the right balance in your environment.
Other interesting Points from the lecture:
Maximize the potential for innovation in your team by hiring cognitive diverse people.
Importance of attitude in people you hire.
Support an encouraging culture in your team.
People are naturally innovative (kids). This gets beaten out and is unlearnt by the system (school, university, incentive systems).
Innovation is not necessarily a new product.
Companies are making themselves efficient by measuring many business aspects. This limits them to incremental innovation, which is always based on prior work. Groundbreaking (disruptive) innovations are created in different environments.
Phil’s talk ‘Creative Econoomy’ recorded live April 4th 2008 at the Business Alliance Bootcamp for Growing Companies and Entrepreneurs contains 30 minutes of very interesting thoughts about innovation.
I would like to recommend an inspiring podcast I listened to this morning while driving to work. Simon Phipps, chief open source officer at Sun Microsystems offers a very encouraging view on open source, the stages in open source development, mindset and business modells.
When you do a lot of concentrated work (if you are privileged to be in an environment where this is possible), it is good to do something completely different at times. I discovered that when I switch my mindset to someting else more relaxing like leafing through impesssing images, some of the previously unanswered questions get solved automatically in my brain and what is more – it has a relaxing effect on me too.