out of the box

same creates same, different creates different

I saw an article last week (sorry, don’t remember where) about how some leaders such as Obama and the Facebook guy limit the small decisions they have to make so they have the focus and brainpower to make the important decisions. Makes sense enough, but I got to wondering if that also applies to innovation.

It’s pretty easy to remove decision points throughout the day. Wear the same clothes, eat the same food, drive the same route, follow the same schedule – no thought required. But, it seems that most innovations come from “different”, not “same”. They come from outside the field, are sparked by a fresh perspective, are caused by looking at the old problem in a new light.

The same actions will never create different results. Same creates same, different creates different. This is the power of diversity. I suspect that innovation benefits from taking different routes to work, trying new styles, going new places, talking to different people, reading different books and magazines. Mix it up, shake it up, tear it down, build it up, shatter and integrate. Seek different. See what happens.