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The science of serendipity: the promise of innovation inside organisations | simply communicate

Posted on by Brandon Klein

“Serendipitous invention and the creative exploitation of ideas is a muscle that you can choose to work out or allow to wither” - Matt Kingdon

What made me think that I was going to read an interesting and useful book, was the author's immediate suggestion to think of innovation not just as the results of 'happy accidents'. Instead, it is more a deep and fascinating discovery journey, that involves intuition, the correct translation of ideas into realness, right behaviours and connections as well as hard-work.

“Creating innovation within a large organisation takes a mix of determination, provocation, experimentation and political savvy”, writes McKingdon.

If we follow the author advice, then to be 'real heroes of innovation' we should follow a series of steps that Kingdon brilliantly elucidates and extrapolates from a series of real practical examples.

1. Captain one minute, pirate the next

“It is human energy that drives innovation”

The profile of an ideal innovator is a 'Captain one minute, pirate the next'; someone who respects the organisation they work for but does not revere it. This is due to the fact that innovators want their business to do always better and are dissatisfied with the status quo. To survive in the business world and constantly innovate, innovators have some special qualities: