So many discoveries are accidental. Looking for one thing, finding another. While the most famous example in modern times is Viagra, this is potentially of more use; as was penicillin before it. Managing for serendipity is not too difficult, we’ve got some of it squared up and in the accreditation programmes with more to come. However the process base of most innovation programmes is too explicit, too linear and too focused on efficiency. I plan to publish an outline model of how we would use SenseMaker™ to handle large scale innovation programmes, incorporating the suggestion boxes and other practices that still have utility. For the moment this is a timely, and serious reminder of how important it is to allow people to make novel and unexpected connections, to explore things without making their objectives explicit.
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