Innovation Processes

Companies that have “innovation processes” often stifle the creativity of their organization by making those processes too rule-driven, formal and restrictive.”
Josh Linkner
in his book “Disciplined Dreaming: A Proven System to Drive Breakthrough Creativity.”

As you’ll see in the side-bar, innovation is a common theme in my blog posts. There is so much innovation required to develop outstanding OSS suites, so it’s a topic of great interest. As Josh also indicates, there is often a tendency for innovative organisations to develop formal, rule-driven innovation in the product development departments rather than truly creative innovation.

He also talks of having the foresight to sacrifice the golden goose. In the context of OSS, this means creating whole new information management models that can evolve with rapid changes in IT platforms, network technologies, software platforms rather than patching OSS that have their roots in decades past.

Every OSS project team has a different dynamic so it’s not really fair to generalise but overall I’ve found OSS teams to comprise of master problem solvers… but that doesn’t necessarily equate to being creative, looking for the solutions that make quantum rather than step change.

Having said that, there are often constraints in budget, time, etc that limit you to step change. For example, you have visualised a problem resolution via a major re-write of your toolset but your customer/s (and/or your finance team) have more immediate needs.

Most modern OSS are highly data-driven in that you can make them dance to different tunes by setting up their data differently. This is where there is room for boundless creativity despite the other constraints. It’s in this arena where the OSS artist can construct masterpieces that mere mortals, even highly experienced ones, can’t visualise. Do you have artists working on your data models?

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