“Innovation” is a nebulous term that business pundits bandy about with reckless abandon. Perhaps at one time it held a narrower and truer meaning, but years of human handling have converted it to almost a non-word through years of misapplication, like a child’s use of the word “fairness.” Many people treat innovation as if there was an objective innovation detector that lights up and audibly whines when in its presence, rather than the amorphous and highly contextualized substance it more accurately represents.
At a conference I once asked Dr. Eli Goldratt, the infamous Israeli manufacturing guru, about the role of his body of knowledge, the Theory of Constraints, in the area of innovation. “There is none,” he told those of us at his lunch table. “Ideas are plentiful, it is the ability to act on them and execute that is rare.”
People have ideas all the time, but often have no clue on how to judge an idea’s practicality. In my latest column for Time Compression magazine, I explain what I once learned from one of my early role model’s, the “MBA in a box” concept.
To read more about using this technique as a quick and dirty idea filter….click here.