We’ve been lucky enough to have Hugh MacLeod provide the illustrations for the book, and damn fine they are too. I won’t ruin that surprise.
However, I was reminded this morning of just how close in thinking much of Tom Fishburne’s work is. As an innovator in a big business, we know many clients can feel like this:
Start managing innovation the same way you manage media budgets and the Christmas party, and you can guarantee the sort of brutal attack Fishburne envisages will come about. If you try and make yours just another project, you can be sure it will be managed like one – which doesn’t work for doing new things.
The only way to fight the opinions of those more senior, or disruptive, is facts. And the innovator must dedicate themselves to finding the real facts at the heart of their business idea.
What Fishburne doesn’t allude to in his fantastic cartoons is just why the nurtured idea is about to be exposed to the knives and barbs or colleagues.
And the answer here is simple: money.
If you can run your innovation effort out of petty cash, no-one will ask those question or take a swipe at you. It’s when large outlays are required, and more importantly, grand projections made that critics will circle.
Prove them wrong, and do it on a budget.
But that’s not to say that your don’t want criticism. Exactly the opposite, you should seek it out. And be your own worst critic.
All too often the adversarial process of getting and keeping budgets can convince the innovator to be bloody minded in the pursuit of their original concept. Keeping your idea away from the most sectarian and political forces may be wise, but never shelter an idea from criticism entirely. This is how your idea will grow. We’ve seen over and over again, that ideas which only ever get praised, rarely get any better, or indeed see much success.
A final Fishburne
What we’re saying is see the teeth in the picture above as your friend. If you are tough (not pointlessly critical) as you progress thorough every stage of assessment of the idea and build of the proposition, the process will make you (and your idea) stronger.