Accept to Be Human to Innovate !

As far as I know, we have no evidence that machines can innovate… Then, what does it mean to innovate, if not to have expectations, illusions, biases, emotions,… ? If  people promise you innovation mainly through tools or processes, you are on the wrong track. Innovation starts by aknowledging the very HUMAN nature of innovation. No wonder that companies like IDEO or Pixar are cautious about  human interactions. But you don’t need to be in the “creative” business to understand that innovation starts with people talking to one another and putting their ideas into practice.

Now, what does it mean to talk effectively ? what does it mean to design a meaningful action ? I think it all relates to our desire to learn, and particularly to learn from outside (the other person, the world). Most contemporary research on learning indicates that there is actually a strong connection between learning, creating, dialoguing,… Can you imagine yourself going to your boss – or to your Innovation VP – in order to improve dialogue practices in your organization ? Or to deliver to each and every employee a “License to Act Differently” (as they do it in the Design Factory in Helsinki) ? Not yet ? Well, there is probably no better way for you to develop innovation inside your company : start with human beings accepting to be fully what they are AND in relation with each others. The rest is absolutely useless, if this pre-condition is not met.

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One Response to Accept to Be Human to Innovate !

  1. RalfLippold says:

    Thanks Laurent, your provocative questions led my mind go back to my days at BMW. Only the interaction with the workers on the shopfloor, office and the plant made a difference – it has been a great experience.

    Yet the described is in a very early stage – effective conversations often are overpowered by politics (quite fast).

    Learning to deal with these situations will be the challenge for educational institutions, instead of providing knowledge everybody can get on the web for free.

    Best, Ralf

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