I saw an interview recently with Frank Gehry, the well-known architect. At one point in the interview, he noted the process of innovation is a fluid process, but it is indeed a very deliberate strategy. One insight I took away from this interview was that he feels architecture has recently been through a very expressionist period. Like most of the business world, the economic downfall brought that creative expression to a halt. The backlash has been, according to Gehry, a focus on sustainability.
We have experienced something similar in organizational strategy. Most leaders are intent on innovation, but the everyday focus is actually one of sustainability. To quote Gehry, “This focus on sustainability is an avenue for less talented people to get their way.” Doing things differently is hard work. It’s not so hard to plan, but it’s extremely tenuous to implement. What does your company celebrate? Innovative Capacity or Sustainability? Based on your experience, what are some of your best practices for moving toward Innovative Capacity?