In reading Frans Johansson’s book, The Medici Effect, I was able to take away a lot of practical ways of increasing innovation especially by looking for the intersections between fields of practice. Kind of like my tag line 😉
Johansson tells you to look for reversals which may give you insights into new ways of doing things. He uses a restaurant as an example, saying that the assumption is that restaurants have menus, but the reversal would be a restaurant without a menu. This would be one where, “The chef informs each customer what he bought that day … the diner selects the desired food items and the chef creates a dish from them, specifically for each customer.”
Johansson states that those with lots of good ideas are also those with lots of bad ideas. The important thing is to generate many ideas, and follow through on those that show promise. Innovation is the following through part. As Guy Kawasaki says, “Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard.”
Johansson suggests that the way to be creative is to start early and let the idea develop over time. Don’t wait till the last minute:
… we should start by working hard and in a focused manner on a problem or idea and develop it as far as possible. Then we should wait, move on to something else, and forget about the problem for a while. [and repeat]
The Medici Effect is a quick read and I really enjoyed it. I would recommend this book as a window on some new possibilities.