Disruption is overrated in terms of innovation

phys.org | 11/26/2018 | Staff
duck.ie (Posted by) Level 3
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Innovation is not all sunshine and frolicking lambs.

Innovation has real costs—monetary, psychological, intellectual and effort-based—that need to be addressed or mitigated if you want people to actually innovate.

Archetype - Media - Destruction - Brings - Ideas

There's an archetype in media that destruction and upheaval brings out the best ideas and creates jobs. In literature and in society, upheaval, necessity and desperation are portrayed as the prime motivators of innovative behaviour. The problem is that outside of soap operas and medical dramas, people usually have something to lose.

But my research has led me to nuance this idea. Yes, people are more willing to take chances when something bad happens. Yes, disruption results in innovation; But to be more precise, studies, including my own, show that stability results in more innovation than disruption would.

Reason - Fortune - Companies - HR - Departments

There is a reason why Fortune 500 companies don't run their HR departments like an elimination game show, although that might make the average staff meeting significantly more interesting. The fact is that upheaval and desperation do not mitigate the costs of innovating; chances are they only make costs more punishing.

At best, desperation and upheaval might induce unity within like minded-groups and force a pragmatic solution to a particularly important challenge. But such a scenario conflates improvisation with innovation.

Improvisation - Solution - Challenge - Innovation - Moment

Improvisation is a quick solution to a presented challenge, whereas innovation encompasses more than the present moment. There are links between the two, but they tend to have different goals. Innovation can be methodical, reflective and address challenges that are not widely perceived.

My research has shown me the face of an under-hyped insight: being methodical and reflective is not fostered by high-pressure, desperate circumstances.

Interviews - Literature - Reviews - Findings - Articles

Through 30 in-depth interviews, two literature reviews integrating the findings of 91 peer-reviewed articles and 500 survey responses, I conclude disruption does not always drive the most monumental or ingenious innovation. People don't write great poetry...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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