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How To Kill Innovation With Just Two Words

What's one of the enemies of real innovation?

Dan Gould
Dan Gould on February 25, 2010.

Sharing his thoughts in the Harvard Business Review, author Scott Anthony believes that content questioning is the real enemy of innovation.

Anthony says that “What About…” questions – the ones which endlessly ponder every possible scenario and variable surrounding an idea or plan are what stops real innovation in its tracks.

And what’s the solution?

Action.

He explains:

So what’s the alternative? Substitute early action for never-ending analysis. Figure out the quickest, cheapest way to do something market-facing to start the iterative process that so frequently typifies innovation. Be prepared to make quick decisions, but have the driver of the decision be in-market data, not conceptual analysis. In other words, go small and learn. Pitch (or even sell) your idea to colleagues. Open up a kiosk in a shopping mall for a week. Create a quick-and-dirty website describing your idea. Be prepared to make quick decisions.

HBR: “Want to Kill Innovation? Keep Asking Questions”

photo by Leo Reynolds

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