I was about to commence a two hour workshop on innovation last Thursday for new managers. The previous session was late finishing, giving me a little extra time to think about how I would open the session. And what I came up with is what makes up the term innovation – or my attempt at deconstructing innovation.
Innovation = INN + O + VAT + ION
The best innovations come from social interaction. And the best social interaction is being away from work, down the pub having a drink (hence the inn). The drink could be a nice red wine or beer which use a vat for the fermentation process. The O comes from needing to go around in circles for a while to work on the idea. And of course, ion at the end in chemistry-terms is a charged particle and these are extremely important in the innovation process in getting the sparks going for idea formation. Both negative ions and positive ions are worthwhile, the cynics to refine the idea through critique and the positive people to embellish and exaggerate to stretch the ideas further.
So if you want to innovate, get out of the work environment, buy some fermented drinks, talk around in circles and make sure that you have a diverse bunch of positive and negatively charged people. It’s sure to happen then!