As persons, professionals, and organisations we fear impostor syndrome too much. Both towards others and ourselves. We live in a world where knowing, is more celebrated than trying to learn. And it is burdening us. It has created a dilemma for innovation. We are so caught up in trying to impress people with what we know, that we do not leave room for learning — neither for ourselves nor others. Here is how I learned to overcome the dilemma.
If I asked you, what you think, ancient Greek philosophy and modern innovation practice have in common, you would probably answer not a lot, if anything.
But you would be surprised.
The most successful methodologies applied in successful tech companies and start-ups, is the methodology that Socrates practiced in the streets of Athens 2500 years ago.
Tech giants and start-ups alike are daily utilizing a simple practice: They test their assumptions with experiments. And they do it daily.
Here is what I suggest for 2021. Let your organization recruit for curiosity. Let your organization recruit for good questions. Within innovation let your organization consider junior and senior profiles with the quality of curiosity as the most relevant profile. Let your organization look for students and experienced profiles that not only accept that they do not know, but also show real interest in knowing more. Recruit the profile that is focused on what to explore and learn, rather than explaining what they bring to the table.
For 10 years I had the privilege of spending my professional time asking…
In an email to his staggering 1.3 million employees Bezos is reminding us of an important lesson:
“Keep inventing, and don’t despair when at first the idea looks crazy. Remember to wander. Let curiosity be your compass. It remains Day 1.”
This is the sentence he chose to end his letter with after 27 years of driving Amazon to be one of the most successful companies of all time. Why?
If you think about it, humans spent 2 million years being propelled forward by this trait.
Humans are said to have left their birthplace in East Africa around 2 million…
I used to travel a lot on business trips and see this sign in Copenhagen Airport saying: “Problems can be complicated, solutions cannot.” I thought it was wise. It managed in one small sentence to exemplify what simplicity is. It resonated with my experience. For me beautiful design, intriguing art, or inspiring literature always had simplicity as their common denominator. A kind of complexity which my mind enjoyed being exposed to. Simplicity seemed to have the ability to transcend time and place. Simplicity had a natural pull, almost like a planetary gravity.
Not too long ago, I decided to see…
Curiosity has always been a character trait that I admired. Even as a kid I noticed that it seemed to be the character trait of people who were clever, fun, and interesting to be around — in their company an adventure always seemed to be waiting around every corner.
But for many years, it was difficult for me to understand how curiosity worked. It was a bit like seeing someone painting a picture and I knew that the person was creative.
I could tell when someone was genuinely curious by the way they acted and asked questions. …
70% of all innovation-projects fail to meet their goals. In many cases this can be explained by the fact that organizations forget to use customer insights when bringing new products to market. They assume that they know the customer and thus take big financial risk based on little or no real data. There is, however, a simple way to turn this risk into a competitive advantage.
It all comes down to how you work with assumptions. Let me explain why.
An assumption is a belief you accept as true without the necessary proof. We use assumptions all the time. …
In commercial organizations, I often hear the proverb “the devil is in the detail” thrown around. This means that the commercial questions you are not asking early on, can become expensive to ask later on.
In practice companies experience this, when they spend large R&D resources on developing a new product, but forget, who they are creating it for. Given the fact that more than 70% of all innovation-project fail (explained in Monetizing Innovation), this happens more than you would think. Product developers fall in love with their products features, forget the customers and sales consequently suffer.
However, that risk…
For the last year I have been driving projects, where our primary question was: How do we develop our business with Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence? And I have learned something important; That is not the right question to be asking if you want to get started with Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence.
Let me explain why.
There are two misleading words in that question: “Machine” and “Artificial”. These two words confuse more than they give direction. They seem to point to complex and opaque technology. Furthermore, you can’t work with this technology without people that have know-how and competencies…