6 INITIATE How to initiate the innovation process through open connections for exploring diverse ideas

Destination: Europe

Paradox: Focus vs Openness

Synthesis: Targeted openness

In this chapter we will explore the path between focus and openness through diversity and connections, negotiating a line between, at one extreme, the potential danger zone of insulation and, at the other extreme, the potential danger of a lack of direction. We will learn how to plan and navigate a route through targeted openness that will create a culture to best fuel innovation.

Key challenge: How to enable individuals and teams to be both autonomous and interconnected through ‘targeted openness’.

It was mid winter, the shortest day of the year, and dusk had come early. We were caught out by the rapid fall of night and had to find somewhere to camp, fast. Finally, exhausted from the long drive through the craggy Pyrenees mountains in Spain, we parked our campervan in the pitch dark. We believed we were on the edge of a remote forest and imagined the beautiful sights and sounds that would greet us when we woke. We were, however, in for a rude shock.

We were woken not by the gentle patter of forest animals, but by the stomping and screaming of excited schoolchildren. When we drew back the curtains and peered out into the bright sunny day, we were greeted noisily by highly amused children with their disapproving parents. We must have looked like caged animals at the zoo. The parents hurried the children ...

Get The Innovation Race now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.