Resistance Isn't Futile - You Can Innovate

This is the fourth in a series of posts from a talk I gave at the Joomla World Conference in 2013.  The idea of innovation sometimes scares us, sometimes inspires us, sometimes fills us with dread.

Lesson 4:  Innovate As If Your Business Depended On It

resistance

When the Borg arrived on the scene, the entire Federation and even humanity itself was in jeopardy.  In one episode of Star Trek the Next Generation, Commander Riker saved the day, and Captain Picard by excuting the "Riker Maneuver", a never before seen (and therefore unimagined) approach to defeating the Borg in battle.  It was risky, but it worked!

The idea of innovation sometimes scares us, sometimes inspires us, sometimes fills us with dread.  You've probably heard the quote "failure is not an option" from the movie Apollo 13 (which by the way, was never actually said by Gene Kranz).  It's inspiring!

In this part of the keynote, I talked about five rules for innovation from Nilofer Merchant, author of 11 Rules for Creating Value in the Social Era.

  1. Know your purpose... or... know your WHY.
  2. Figure out what you need to learn.
  3. Figure out what you need to un-learn
  4. Pilot, invest, experiment
  5. Reward learning and cooperation.

 

Sidenote: Open source projects struggle with #5 as much as anyone does.  We sometimes reward bad behavior by ignoring it or even excusing it because someone is "too valuable" to the project to lose.  Instead, bad behavior needs to dealt with, within a code of conduct, such as the ones the Drupal and Joomla! communities have developed.  Whatever the process, I believe Donna Benjamin is correct in her blog post entitled "Empathy".  We need sympathy, empathy and compassion as we work through conflict.  Innovation at the cost of learning and cooperation isn't worth it.

This video is a little longer than the first three, but hopefully it will be of value to the discussion.