Innovating From the Outside In

Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right. — Henry Ford

Being naive doesn’t necessarily make you wrong. Often, the craziest ideas end up the most successful. And once they’ve succeeded, they usually don’t seem so crazy anymore.

David Rogers of the Columbia Business School talks about the “Zen mentality” importance of naivete. One of the benefits, according to David, is naivete gives you more options to kill certain sacred cows. You’re not beholden to conventional wisdom within your industry.

He notes how you approach where you should distribute your products, or how you bring your products to market, with a certain naivete, you will have more ideas to bring to the table. Whether it’s your Minimum Viable Product, or an experimental approach to innovation, it’s really about having lots of ideas and testing them in the marketplace.

David says maybe not everybody, but at least some people in an organization should be those ‘beginner minds’, or you won’t have a lot of hypotheses to test. You can view his comments here.