Death or Kryptonite?
I have a vinyl record with one of those strategic skips that has it repeating — it drives me nuts — but I still play the record because I love the song so much.
The song is Jimmy Olsen’s Blues by the Spin Doctors. It’s a hard rocker about the lament of Superman’s pal who has a crush on Superman’s gal. In the song Jimmy Olsen is competing with the man of steel for the affection of Miss Lois Lane. He’s got a secret weapon, a pocketful of Kryptonite.
Innovation ca feel a lot like that — your competition is a big tough impossible-to-beat player like Superman.
And no matter your size as an organization, you’d better be like little Jimmy Olsen with a secret weapon — a hidden pocket full of Kryptonite. Don’t let fear stop you from getting started.
Or your toast.
I’m going to be like a broken record in this blog post (I wrote a similar one a year ago):
If you don’t have an Innovation Plan, you aren’t doing innovation. And if you’re not doing innovation, you are planning something else — your demise, your death, your toasting .
Here’s the thing, like the inept and psychologically damaged journalist Jimmy Olsen, even a dysfunctional company that heretofore hasn’t managed to get innovation going can start now. Now is the time to impact 2015. Jimmy Olsen has a pocketful of kryptonite to take on the man of steel. What’s your Kryptonite to protect you against all those who are out there, right now, thinking up ways to beat you? What’s your Kryptonite to get you growing and not dying?
Your Kryptonite my innovation-ist friends, is an innovation plan that you start executing. Projects are what change culture. In fact, Nothing changes innovation culture except real world innovation projects. It’s the Only Kryptonite.
You can forget these Five Lame Excuses to Delay Innovation:
- I don’t care if you don’t have funding — you can still get started.
- I don’t care if you don’t have time — that’s a BS excuse for not doing your job — make time.
- I don’t care if you don’t have approval — create something exciting and you’ll get approval.
- I don’t care if you don’t have resources — getting resources or working around that is part of your plan — and see #3. above.
- I don’t know how to do innovation — start a project and learn as you go!
I don’t care if you’re competing with Superman — you’ve got a pocketful of Kryptonite. Your Kryptonite is your urgent plan, your inventive brain, your courageous guts, your steadfast persistence — and most of all your action.
Look, there are a million methods to do innoation, including those methods I espouse. But at the heart of it, it’s about ongoing projects. Don’t get hung up on whether to use Lean, or Design Thinking, or CPS, KILN’s FuseTrail, or some arcane method history has hung around your neck. Get a project started and use and abuse those tools, but GET STARTED Now, and keep the projects moving forward, and keep on executing innovation cycles. Don’t get beaten by one of five lame excuses.
If you need help creating a plan, call me. We can get something useful on paper in a day.
Get your pocketful of Kryptonite, get off your ass, and get innovating. Next December you’ll look back and be glad you did.
You might play Jimmy Olsen’s Blues for inspiration.