Episode #269: Time to Kill Innovation Theatre and Get Serious!
The late Stephen Hawking famously said that “intelligence is the ability to adapt to change”.
If you’re reading this, then it’s no secret that the world is changing fast thanks to Moore’s Law and its impact on technology and consequently, the way we do business. The challenge for organisations that were founded in the previous Century is updating their way of doing business to suit and stay competitive. Failure to adapt ultimately results in extinction.
Such organisations are responding with their balance sheets. Investment on digital transformation alone is set to hit US$7 trillion worldwide by 2021, according to IDC. However, big investments open the door for costly failures, and 84% of digital transformations go on to fail. Organisations are investing big on innovation initiatives that are said to build a culture of innovation but ultimately amount to little more than innovation theatre, despite their best intentions.
As human beings, we tend to optimise for the easiest solution, the one that carries the least cognitive load. As Chris Chatham writes, Occam’s Razor - the principle that the simplest solution tends to be the right one - is actually a medieval relic. “It is literally a historical artefact: William of Ockham employed this principle in his own 13th century work to topics resistant to scientific methods.” He says the continuing use of such thinking in science is akin a cardiologist resorting to bloodletting when heart medication doesn’t work.
It’s time to move past the medieval and borrow a page out of Robert Sapolsky’s book Behave, in which he says that “we have to think complexly about complex things”. Wow, who would’ve thunk?!
I hope you enjoyed this episode.
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