The Myths Of Creativity And Innovation


3 minute read

Innovation doesn’t happen in isolation.

Innovation is commonly seen in businesses as something that comes from one person, as a lightning bolt of inspiration.

One example of this perception is Newton and his discovery of the Theory of Gravity. The story famously goes, “Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton was the one to ask why.” 

But that’s not what really happened. In fact, Newton’s theory was the culmination of 20 years of research, hypothesising, testing, and to some extent - collaboration. Newton actively studied the works of Descartes, who argued the universe is governed by mechanical laws. 

The truth is when it comes to digital transformation, real creativity and innovation rarely happen in isolation. They happen best inside well resourced teams of dedicated people, working to a proven process based on scientific methods. Critically, this means they can be taught. 

Apolinar’s experience, and one of the foundational principles of HX, is that often the best innovations come from customers. Working with us, they have frequently offered insights neither our team or the client team had thought of. 

 

Innovation isn’t something you buy 

Simply buying a digital product or service and plugging it into your business or organisation isn’t what innovation is or looks like.   

One example we’ve seen has been the rush to AI and machine learning, imagining a world where these technologies will replace customer service. In reality, it still takes a lot of people, time, and money to implement these solutions effectively. 

And just because chatbots might be more efficient for your business or organisation, doesn’t mean it’s what your customers actually want - or will actually use. 

So, what are creativity and innovation? They are learnable processes that add real, measurable value to your business. 

Apolinar’s experience and the HX methodology shows that the best innovation is generated by diverse teams that include the people who will eventually use the digital product. 

HX shows us the 5-Day Co-Design Sprint is the engine room of innovation, and has achieved transformational results across a wide range of industries, organisations, and use-cases. 

Real digital transformation starts in a room with your own people and products. Not by buying someone else’s, off-the-shelf. 

 

How HX uses science instead 

Apolinar’s experience has shown us the best approach to creativity and innovation is found in the model used by scientists the world over: 

  1. Data and insights are used to form a hypothesis about what is the right thing to do

  2. The hypothesis is tested through experimentation

  3. Feedback and new data is collected, and the hypothesis is changed or refined

  4. Repeat

 

The key point of HX is innovation, at speed. 

Instead of committing resources for six or nine months, to arrive at a point where the majority of the budget has been spent only to discover the outcomes are wrong, HX uses a three-week process to rapidly implement, test, and adjust appropriately. 

This kind of compressed timeframe encourages project accuracy, and is much easier to sell internally because it almost always minimises waste enormously. It’s what McKinsey identifies as being “highly adaptive” in digital transformation strategy. It helps achieve stakeholder buy-in, and gives projects quick momentum. 

Apolinar’s HX methodology shows us that finding the most innovative solution is actually a process. Sometimes things work out exactly as planned. Other times they don’t, and there is a need to adjust, or even pivot. 

Who are the best people to attest to the power and effectiveness of this model? The people who fund start-ups in Silicon Valley, who use it religiously. Why? Because the ventures they back are almost always high risk, where proof of concept is needed quickly. 

HX leverages key learnings from this community, because they have decades of experience, and for them, it’s business as usual. 

It’s not about failing fast. It’s about learning fast, adjusting fast, and finding the right solution, fast.

 


Authored by Jon Beattie

30 November 2021

 

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