We have to start in the future, we have no history

Continuing my train of thought from my previous post, isn’t it ironic that while the practice of innovation as a solution in some consultant’s arsenal has spawned myriads of undifferentiated value propositions, the actual fact of innovating itself, creating novelty is exactly the opposite? Here, there is no history to work from, only the future.

Mind you, I am not talking about all the greys in the innovation quotient continuum, like giving an incremental an IQ of 46 versus a disruptive shift that changes paradigms a score of 147. I’m taking it one step further into the abstraction layer, of looking closely at this magic moment of eureka. I wonder if the conditions that produce the Aha ideas are reproducible or at least recognizable? Can they be catalogued and identified? Can we posit the concept that brilliant insights could be produced with some amount of predictable regularity? You could say, applying an analogy here, that where the industrial engineer of yore studied the assemby line for opportunities to improve efficiency and decrease cost, the industrial engineer of today can look at the realm of the mind and analyze the process of creative thought. Why industrial engineering and not a science like neurology, cognitive science, psychology ? Because the end result sought is a diagram of the elements that support and enhance the process. So that one can at least recreate the optimum environment with regularity and hope for the best.

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