Myths of Innovation

Guy Kawasaki has another great interview on his blog.  This is an interview with Scott Berkun, author of “The Myths of Innovation”.  If you are fascinated with innovation, this is a good read.  I have tried innovation internally and externally.  These last few start-ups which I have worked on have been great.  This article addresses some of the things I have learned the hard way. 

“Innovators are born and made
Innovators face lots of challenges outside the creative process – support
Get out of the ivory tower and “tinker”

Problem definition (i.e., asking the right questions) is key  (At HOK, we used to use a book called Problem Seeking for architectural requirements which is a helpful framework here.)

There is a lot more here.  I think companies often miss the importance of “sponsoring” innovation through several actions:

  • Encouraging people to try things and having a culture that allows risk
  • Capturing ideas and having people who look across ideas for new combinations of things
  • Having funds allocated to try things…if VCs who get their pick of ideas only expect 2 of 10 to flush out, why do companies look for 10 of 10
  • Bringing in people with diversity (background, culture, education, industry)

Innovation is a critical process for companies.  Thinking about how you create it, capture ideas, and manage your portfolio is important.  In this blog, I have talked about P-TRIZ and Return on Time (ROT) which are both relevant here. 


  1. MaRS Blog - Innovation and Commercialization in Canada » Blog Archive » Today’s Picks: Innovation, with a capital “I” - August 29, 2007

    […] one I came across is The Patient Advocate, with insightful comments about innovation (primarily in healthcare), not to mention some great […]

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