Innovation is No Accident

Innovation is No AccidentPeople love the idea of ‘accidental innovation’. The term ‘accidental innovation’ is often used to describe the invention of things like penicillin, microwave ovens, Nutrasweet and vulcanized rubber. The stories behind these accidental innovations are intoxicating because they make it seem like innovation can come from anywhere – in an instant. But often people don’t tell the whole story behind these accidental innovations. As a result, people get the impression that innovation is easy, they confuse ideas with innovation, and as a result, a project-based approach to innovation is reinforced.

When it comes to innovation, good ideas are a dime a dozen. If you ask people for ideas or run a brainstorming session, you will get ideas, lots of ideas, but that doesn’t mean you’ll create any new innovation in your organization. Creating innovation is not about just getting a bunch of ideas, picking one, and then creating a project and throwing human and financial resources behind it. Sure it seems quick and easy, and maybe a fire drill approach to innovation might work once in a while (maybe when your growth crisis is particularly severe), but this approach is not sustainable.

Continue reading this article on the American Express OPEN Forum

About Braden Kelley

Braden Kelley is a Director of Design Thinking, Innovation and Transformation at Oracle, a popular innovation speaker, workshop leader, and creator of The Change Planning Toolkit™. He is the author of Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire from John Wiley & Sons and Charting Change from Palgrave Macmillan. Braden has been advising companies since 1996, while living and working in England, Germany, and the United States. Braden earned his MBA from top-rated London Business School. Follow him on Twitter and Linkedin.
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10 Responses to Innovation is No Accident

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Blogging Innovation » Innovation is No Accident --

  2. Bryan Stapp says:

    My marketing team used to have a saying “Innovation is rewarded, Execution is Worshiped.” You need to have great ideas, and you need to implement them.

  3. Sue Z. Hart says:

    Really like this information. I had not heard the back story before.

  4. ATIG says:

    Dear Braden,

    That’s a short story that MasterCard Innovation Through Acquisition Orbiscom what innovation?


    the future performance of Orbiscom’s Business = delay

    accidental innovation or no = the same thing.

    We are using it, we don’t care about the reality.

    We have stop selling and add value.


  5. Dana Bowler says:

    Innovation is never just about A GREAT IDEA (or a number of great ideas for that matter). The true “accident” that happens is within the context of sharing the idea- when the idea becomes social, in a sense of communal serendipity – when two hunches collide and the container of people involved seem to be saying: “huh, I never thought of it like that before…I could get on board with that, let’s try it” It’s no accident. Call it what you want- serendipity, collaboration, shared enthusiasm for the potential/possible. It goes back to Braden’s point about “Excellence in Multi-disciplinary Collaboration and Execution”- ie: the actions by which a great idea hits a social accellerator. Great post!

  6. ATIG says:

    Dear Dana,

    The Braden’s point about “Excellence in Multi-disciplinary Collaboration and Execution”- ie: the actions by which a great idea hits a social accelerator.

    I hope that this point is ethical and think it is.

    When the synergy work in that sense but in my case that for me dysfunctional environment

    As you said social accelerator, I don’t read that Braden advice to take work of other and profit from difficult situation to make your better situation based in bad actions.

    You have to measure the consequences of such thing at long term not only short one.

    That business is going to fail because based on what ????

    Great post Braden but please explain the sense of your post to have good comment.

  7. admin says:

    Hello Atig,

    It’s not clear what is unclear to you.

    If you can be more specific, I will do my best to answer.

    Braden Kelley
    Author, ‘Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire’

  8. ATIG says:

    Dear Braden,

    Can you explain what mean “Excellence in Multi-disciplinary Collaboration and Execution”- ie: the actions by which a great idea hits a social accelerator.

    Having an open dialogue on social sites encourage transparency.

    As my case front big player and asking for HELP.

    I am grateful to you.

  9. ATIG says:

    Dear Braden,

    the most important factor in business strategy are rather be strong somewhere than weak everywhere.

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone!

  10. Pingback: Creative tension is good for you! | Rapid innovation in digital time

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