Using radar expands the idea horizon

An interesting opposing thought to “not invented here”:

I really dig this interview that Helen Walters recently conducted with Alan MacCormack.  In it, MacCormack uses the metaphor of a radar system to express a way of viewing the world that is quite consistent with behaviors I’ve seen expressed on a repeated basis by creative individuals and innovative organizations alike.

I particularly like his emphasis upon establishing “innovation radars” to tap in to high-variance information streams that will help you see and understand what is coming next.  For example, MacCormack talks about taking R&D funds and spending them on external organizations via mechanisms such as research grants.  In that example, the notion of information streams comes to play not in the grants themselves, but in the array of grant applications you’ll receive as a result of announcing that you’re giving money away; the resulting stack of applications allows you to see future trend patterns emerge without having to leave the office.

It’s worth getting over the arrogance of thinking that the only good ideas come from your own head or organization.  Tapping into the open-source thinking all around can be a powerful source of creativity and focus.

[Image via]


One response to “Using radar expands the idea horizon

  1. Pingback: Week in Public Organizations, 20Jul2009 « PublicOrgTheory

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s