Frequent reader and all-around great guy Ben Stafford sent in a link about innovation that got me thinking.
This article's author laments that business gurus galore tell us that we should all innovate. Everyone--from the CEO down to the janitor--should step up to the innovation plate and swing for the rafters. He claims that this is bunk. Some people are just better at innovation, and some people aren't; you should play to strengths, and lose the "innovation" rhetoric.
I invite you to put on your MBM hats (or monocles or berets or what have you) and think about innovation for a moment.
First, what dimension would you put it in? I have my ideas, but would love to hear your interpretations.
Second, is the above author correct in saying that--just like everything else--innovation is a skill that some people excel at and others struggle with, and hence you should have some employees specializing in that skill while others leave it be? Or, should all of us--every employee--innovate wherever possible? [I know, I know.... A false dichotomy, you decry, but perhaps an interesting one.]
Just to add a wrinkle to things, I'll point out the the Guiding Principle "Principled Entrepreneurship" asks that we "demonstrate...initiative...and critical thinking skills," and "Customer Focus" says that we should "profitably anticipate" needs of customers--arguably a poor-man's version of "innovation"--in all that we do (but then again, arguably not).
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.
p.s. If you'd like to be as awesome as Ben and send links, questions, blog-post ideas or guest posts our way, please email! [andy dot gillette at cgkfoundation.org]