Mary Walshock, the founder of Connect San Diego, argues that an innovation ecosystem should be more like a rainforest than a plantation. We want to encourage cross fertilisation, experimentation and, yes, endure some failure if we are to find a new species of business that can thrive by doing things and solving problems in new, improved ways.
Can you project manage this activity or plot a linear path towards success? Once something emerges from the 'forest' that works, then the emphasis needs to shift towards control, replication and nurturing with a 'plantation' mentality to leverage value. These stages of a companies development are very different and the people that revelled in the early-stage anarchy may not be best suited to raising things in straight lines to regimented schedule.
Maybe like organising your Outlook folders, falling between these two extremes may be the worst of all worlds. Let me explain: have you every tried searching for an email in Outlook? If you organise your folders you have to search each one in turn. Its much simpler just to put everything in one folder and rely on a global text search a la Google. Being either totally anarchic or amazingly organised is the perfect state in Outlook, but anything either way is less perfect.
My Outlook analogy says putting a plantation grower in charge of cultivating a forest isn't the most productive approach, but isn't this exactly what happens most of the time? Is partial cultivation as much an oxymoron as organised chaos?
Bill makes his (Trade) Mark
1 week ago