• John Bessant

Crisis innovation - another song.....


This formed part of my keynote session with Tim Minshall at the R&D Management conference last week. Their title was 'Innovation in an era of disruption' and Tim and I were exchanging ideas on how we might learn from the many innovation responses to the current pandemic crisis - and carry some of those lessons forward. Cue for a song to distil some of the key messages......

You can listen to the song here You can find a transcript below: Innovation’s always been about surprises The game’s no fun without that Just sometimes you can have too many surprises When they come all at once they can knock you flat It’s worst when they come at you from different directions And then seem to land all at once Your carefully planned innovation systems Start to buckle with the force of their punch There’s the one’s that sneak up on you, unawares And the ones that jump out in plain sight The ones you see coming from over the horizon But you think, I’m OK, just sit tight If we can just keep our heads down, somehow muddle through Then we’ll get back to what is normal and nice Let the dust settle, relax into our armchairs After all, Lightning never strikes twice Which is fine - until the next time those alarm bells start ringing And the panic stations buttons getting pressed It’s then we get to wishing we’d done some more preparation Some way to help avoid the stress So how can we innovate out of a crisis Can we prepare ourselves for the next wave? What kind of lessons could we carry forward? How can we learn to behave? Chorus We need imagination We need collaboration Knowledge integration Mobilise what people know Focused inspiration Improvisation Lots of exploration To get some innovation to go If we want to stay alive, we’ve got to learn to duck and dive There’s lots of things that we should try and do Loosen up our minds, leave certainty behind Being agile’s what is going to pull us through Learn to work with what we’re given, frugal innovation Sometimes it’s the case that less is more Rapid prototyping, probe and learn’s the right thing There’s lots of different roads we can explore If we listen to the crowd, broadcast the problem far and loud And listen to the answers coming back Get them looking at the problem from their different perspectives We might just find the answer that we lack We need Re - combination, Re - configuration Re - framing everything we know Re-evaluation of our final destination Pivoting’s the way to go So next time a crisis hits you and you wonder ‘what can we do?’ Here’s some innovation thoughts to bear in mind Use your creativity, build a capability Develop routines for the non-routine - it’s got to be worth trying We need imagination We need collaboration Knowledge integration Mobilise what people know Focused inspiration Improvisation Lots of exploration To get some innovation to go

Episode is Live Published: Jul. 13, 2021 @11AMEdit

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