August 18, 2008
I am a big fan of a culture of experimentation as a driver of innovation. I believe it creates the divergence necessary to create the best, and least incremental, options. I also think that if an organization relies on top down direction to achieve that experimentation then it risks missing many of the most interesting opportunities. Steve Jobs aside, large companies have not exhibited a good track record when it comes to picking the right bets and I think that is because they started with too meager a set of choices.
I was wondering what the rule set might be for encouraging bottom-up or emergent experimentation such that you end up with better innovation options without the chaos or diffusion of "letting a thousand flowers bloom". Here is my take:
None of these rules is necessarily easy to apply, especially for a top-down oriented organization, but I think they might achieve some pretty spectacular results. What do you think?