Is there an optimal system for safe, productive innovation?

Via Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries:

Experiment: Learn by doing. Fail quickly to learn fast. Develop experiments and prototypes to gather insights, identify problems, and build up to creative ideas, like Beethoven did in order to discover new musical styles and forms.

Play: A playful, improvisational, and humorous atmosphere quiets our inhibitions when ideas are incubating or newly hatched, and prevents creative ideas from being snuffed out or prematurely judged.

Immerse: Take time to get out into the world to gather fresh ideas and insights, in order to understand deeper human motivations and desires, and absorb how things work from the ground up.

Define: Use insights gathered throughout the process to define specific problems and needs before solving them, just as the Google founders did when they realized that their library search algorithm could address a much larger problem.

Reorient: Be flexible in pursuit of larger goals and aspirations, making good use of small wins to make necessary pivots and chart the course to completion.

Iterate: Repeat, refine, and test frequently armed with better insights, information, and assumptions as time goes on, as Chris Rock does to perfect his act.


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