Is there Bacon on your Fork of Innovation?

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A chicken or a pig, which animal best aligns with your business culture of innovation?

Yes, I’m sure you have all heard the metaphor about the making of an egg and bacon breakfast where it is said that “the chicken is involved, but the pig is committed”.

Many organisations are brilliant at cracking an egg or two, and then conjuring up many visually innovative dishes that at first glance look most appealing to their employees, be they “scrambled, poached, boiled, fried, or an omelette”. But after a while, these “eggy” dishes all become a little bit blasé, boring and lacking substance, and eventually their staff lose interest and seek something more fulfilling.

But what your employees are really hungry for is an innovation culture that requires something more to chew on, one that adds greater taste variety and longer-term nutrient sustainability.

Enter the pig.

The pig is a key ingredient in the making of this traditional breakfast meal, but to obtain the bacon, this animal is well and truly committed to the innovation cause as there is no turning back once the decision has been made to proceed.

Many businesses like to dabble in the development of an innovation culture and are masters of a variety of egg dishes where the cost of involvement is not deemed too great, nor demanding, and one that can be readily communicated, just like the glossy breakfast images found in a cooking magazine.

But innovation is hard work, takes true commitment, and is not just an eggy breakfast meal, but one that is much more substantial and complex.

Ongoing business innovation needs a variety of ingredients that are tailored to the changing tastes of the organisation, be they bacon, mushrooms, fried tomatoes, or even sourdough toast smeared with lashings of vegemite. The key is to continually try new flavours, even add a spice or two to maintain a vibrancy in the palate of your staff so they are constantly longing for additional innovation nourishment, and a fulfilling eating experience to ensure that they want to sit at the corporate breakfast table again, and again. However, some of these ingredients may initially taste slightly bitter, or too salty, and the breakfast meal may require many preparation steps, but the innovation journey demands time, work and a willingness to experiment in order to be successful.

So should the innovation culture in your organisation be aligned too much with the chicken, then it’s time to put some bacon on your corporate fork and be truly committed to the longer term.

 

PS: For those of the vegan persuasion, apologies! If you know of a similar metaphor based not on animals, I would welcome the feedback.

How to Breed Ideas?

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Great to hear that you have decided to become an idea breeder. It is a most rewarding hobby and one that will give you hours of joy and fulfilment. For those of you that have never done this before, don’t worry, it’s quite simple to do and requires minimal mental outlay, all you need is a focused mind.

I’ve been happily breeding ideas for many years, and if you are a novice, the following tips will get you quickly underway.

  1. Idea Type
    Yes, there are many types of ideas, so it’s important to know which ones you want to have in your idea collective (commonly known as an ideation coop). Ideas come in a vast array of different sizes, some are quite quick, others a bit of a laggard to fully develop, they can have short lives, others endure for many a lifetime. If you are uncertain as to which idea is best for you, I would suggest you consult your Thesaurus.
  2. Permit
    Many newcomers to this pastime often ask if they need a permit to breed ideas? The answer is no, so long as your ideas are not too noisy, as this may upset and distract those around you.
  3. Ideation Coop
    This is the most important facet in successfully breeding new ideas. Ideas like to be protected when they are born and require room for growth once they quickly start to develop. For this, a cosy thought box seems to work best, one with a special code that only you have access to thereby ensuring complete ideation security. Some breeders like to use a trademark or patent for their really special ideas, but this does come with a cost.
  4. Coop Maintenance
    New ideas will need creative nutrition to survive and maintain a healthy life. The best food for ideas is inspiration. It’s OK to start off small, but once your baby ideas get a taste for it, they will quickly grow and mature.
  5. Mating
    Ideas are very social and thoroughly enjoy a good interaction with other like-minded thoughts. They are capable of mating at any age, an activity which should be strongly encouraged, as it will ensure their long-term survival and a robust cross fertilisation of creativity which is an essential part of their development.

The next step is for you to give it a go! Don’t worry if you don’t get it right the first time. Ideas are very forgiving if you make a mistake, in fact, they appreciate it, as it shows that you are really committed to the ideation process.

Now go forth and breed!