Innovation Flow: A Process of Making a Difference
One of the most puzzling mysteries of contemporary culture is how do changes in style and taste come about? Who are those people creating changes? There are some predictable socio-cultural patterns behind trends which shape our futures.
F. Scott Fitzgerald, the famous “boho of jazz swing time”, noted:
The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.
Boho people are able to live with paradoxes and ambiguities. The rational one variable model is not a key issue for the bohos. Without bohos, it is not possible to lead an organization towards excellence because excellence requires the ability to live with paradoxes and ambiguities. Bohos can live easily with ad hoc groups, playfulness, temporary structures, hubs, unusual weak signals, technology of foolishness, shadow organizations, skunk works, cabals, wild cards and unjustified variations.
We know that trend creators and trend setters are not the most conventional people. Often they are bohemians (bohos), or geeks or even freaks. They are extremely innovative and inventive. They are not prisoners of the past. They are children of the future. They invent the future. That is why Richard Florida and other city researchers have invented “tolerance index” because they have found that bohos are needed for innovations, development and economic growth. The bohos create the bohemian city.
These groups of people are not big groups, but they are small special groups in our society. Trend creators are not homogenous group, they are very special personalities. The anatomy of emerging trends is based on trend creators and trend setters. There are both micro and macro trends. Some people create new ideas and inventions and trendsetters want to adopt these ideas and inventions.
These two special groups are at the very top of the trend model. Very often these groups are having many bohemian people – people who do things in a different way – going “out of box”. “Out of the box” is an expression that describes nonconformal, creative thinking. These people are responsible for creating or doing something special that can offset the trend.
Trend creators and trendsetters must have the potential skill that is the basis for both emotional and social intelligence. The mind involves a flow of energy and information. Some people talk about the innovation flow. Innovation flow is a psychological issue, the foundation of all innovations. It is a very interesting psychological issue, because it is a fundamental source of new ideas and inventions. Energy is the capacity to carry out an action. Energy is moving out limbs or it is an embowering though. Ability “to do stuff” is a key issue for changes in our society. Energy, information and innovation are inter-related issues in an innovation flow process.
There are many forms of human energy. We can feel radiant energy when we sit in the sun. We can use kinetic energy when we walk on the sunny beach or go for a swim. We can utilize neural energy when we think or when we talk or listen, or when we read. By definition information is anything that symbolizes something other than itself. Energy and information are complementary things in a dynamic innovation process. Without energy and information it is not possible to develop new ideas and introduce new inventions. Energy and information go hand in hand in the movement of our mind and mindsets. Our minds regulate innovation flow as well as energy and information flows. We can feel the reality of these two forms of mental experience.
We can feel energy levels and rich information flow. These two critical elements, energy and information are always present in an innovation process. We can even claim that energy and information flows create innovation flow. Because they change across time, we can sense their movement from one movement to the next movement in a dynamic, fluid and moving process. The mind´s regulation creates new pattern of energy and information flow.
Thus, we are not just observing these moving processes. We are both monitoring and modifying. The mind is real. Also our mindsights are real. The mind is a regulatory process. The mindset is creating many regulatory processes. Without strong mindsight, life becomes deadened.
It is possible to create a culture where mindsight is absent. In this kind of society we can become stuck in the physical domain, blind to the internal reality at the heart of our lives. In this kind of society no new ideas and inventions are created. Blind minds cannot lead the change. A blind mind cannot lead other blind minds. We must have bright minds and mindsets. Bright minds with energy and information flows are the foundation of innovations and innovation dynamics.
Thus, big challenge of innovation management will be deeper understanding of innovation dynamics of contemporary network organizations, fast companies and mega corporations. Understanding innovation flow, bohos, boho team dynamics and the origins of trends will be long and fascinating intellectual journey for us.
1 Web: http://innovationflow.blogspot.com/
2 Web: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swing_music
F. Scott Fitzgerald
3 Web: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F._Scott_Fitzgerald
4 Web: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradox
5 Web: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ambiguity
6 Web: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hoc
7 Mendonça, S., Cunha, M.P., Kaivo-oja, J. & Ruff, F. (2004) Wild Cards, Weak Signals and Organisational Improvisation. Futures. The Journal of Forecasting, Planning and Policy, Vol. 36, Issue 2, pp. 201-218.
8 Web: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hub
Out of box
9 Web: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thinking_outside_the_box
10 Siegel, D.J. (2010) Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation. New York: Random House.
11 Web: http://drdansiegel.com/
12 Vejlgaard, H. (2008) Anatomy of a Trend. New York: McGraw-Hill.