Jonne Kuyt is the Director of design driven innovation in mobility and partner at Edenspiekermann. He helps businesses adapt to digital change and innovate.
Director of design driven innovation
Do companies need a ‘community of innovators’?
My earliest memories of a genuine aha-moment were when I dis-mantled a mechanical doorbell as a seven-year-old kid. That was such an overwhelming feeling of joy that I soon ran into many troubles with my parents after dismantling the whole electronics and mechanical col-lection; vacuum cleaners, irons, drills, sanding machines, radio's, cassette players, amplifiers, bikes, TVs and so on. As Richard Feynmann puts it; It's was just the pleasure of finding things out".
Most people are born curious. It's an essential and beneficial set-ting for survival because it allows you to quickly build competitive ad-vantages in a hostile environment, like in any market. The more you understand and the faster you connect the dots, the higher the chance you will survive in existential challenges. It will train you to have an open and flexible mind. But how does this work in organizations?
Organizations do not effectively stimulate curiosity. People work in roles and procedures that deliver an efficient, predictable, reliable process and outcome. If you want to challenge that framework with alter-native ideas, it will demand stamina and confidence. Not everyone is gifted for fighting powers that be.
Curiosity and invention are therefore most of the time set apart - which makes sense when there is ambition to transform the organisation (you can't change anything inside the existing structures and processes). But setting it apart also grows the risk of disconnection with the organization's core purpose, acute featuritis, or the so-called, ‘innovation theatre’. Wouldn't it be a great benefit for any organization to stimulate innovation-driven thinking company-wide? To have a work-force that is better prepared, trained, and has the cognitive leniency to mitigate risks and unlock opportunities for a world that is more VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous)? Isn’t this what the future of work should look like - that you are empowered and enabled to deliver value to customers? [ ... ]
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