Innovation is…..

A  recent Linked In discussion asked that we finish the sentence, “Innovation is….”. Being a fan of alliteration and groups of three,  I suggested the following:

Innovation is Inclusive, Inventive and Invigorating.


  1. Inclusive: If we limit participation or place constraints on theEinsteinOnBike process, we limit our opportunities. This may be the biggest challenge in today’s workplace. Good leaders must balance communicating a vision with allowing space and opportunity for teams to opt into the vision. It takes sharing the passion, the ownership and the work to make ideas real.
  2. Inventive: An element of play is necessary to involve our creative mind. Just getting in a room and talking might be a good start, but we are active and visual creatures. Our minds are stimulated by  novelty and playfulness. This is why “post-up” exercises and “gamification” are popular with Agile coaches. They encourage a different type of thinking and an easy way to juxtapose ideas. As Albert Einstein said, “Combinatory play seems to be the essential feature in productive thought.”
  3. Invigorating: If the solution is obvious and easy, it is likely not innovative. Being risky and different is part and parcel of innovation. That’s often messy and sometimes scary. But like riding a bike, it is worth it.


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This entry was posted on January 30, 2013 and is filed under Blog. Written by: . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.