• January 4, 2018

Why innovation (and living your life) needs principles

Why innovation (and living your life) needs principles

Why innovation (and living your life) needs principles 1024 640 Roderick Derks
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Living with a person is complex, and it is complex being a person. It’s not like you push a button or pull a lever and a thing happens, it’s a much more complicated system than that. Complexity is therefore governed by principles rather than rules. Same goes for innovation.

Take a look at the following model:

Simple – baking a cake
Follow these five instructions and you have a cake. Add flower to milk, eggs, butter, sugar, blend it all up and put it in the oven at 200 degrees Celcius for 35 minutes and you are done.

Complicated – launching a rocket
It’s enormous amount of spreadsheets involved in launching a space shuttle, will get it into orbit.

Complex – A flock of birds, living your  life, innovation
There is no To-Do list taped under the wing of a sparrow which way to fly or who to follow. They are operating of three core principles:

  1. fly as closely as you can to the other birds,
  2. fly towards the center,
  3. don’t run into any other birds.

Those three rules create those amazing shapes we can see of the thousands and thousands of birds.

The same goes for innovation. There is no set of rules available as we have no idea what ground we will have under our feet while moving forward. You need principles to guide you.

And for our complex personal life: once you understand what the principles are that govern your life, you get to focus on how do to do your best job living that life.

Thnx to Michael Bungay Stanier

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