Thoughts on the nature of innovation

There were two things that really struck me over the last two wonderful days of BiF.

The first was that innovation is more often than not intensely personal. Most of the stories were about individuals, and individuals who had got to the stage where they were so hacked off with the status quo that they were prepared to have a go at changing their world. To do so they invariably had to face considerable forces of resistance or at least disapproval.

This leads to the second thing that struck me. Innovation is disruptive by its very nature as it means doing things differently. For many in organizations doing things differently means at the very last accepting change and often having to accommodate an entirely new world view. They don't tend to do this without a fight.

This leads to the instinct in organizations to sanitize innovation - to set up committees or dedicated innovation departments. The trouble is that in doing so they risk removing the personal nature of the desire to innovate and disperse the passion that gives it the energy to happen.