the burden of innovation: everything is awesome and no one is happy
The professional acceptance of optimal imperfection

Living with passion in a defined space

651043585_1abc9fcdd9_o Who would you rather have on your team: the passionate, creative innovator or the systematic, structured organized thinker?  99% of the time you really need the Clark Kent, and when you go looking for the superhero you end up settling on a compromise that reeks of mediocrity.  I'd rather be a fantastic Clark Kent than a failed superman.

There's a time for out-of-the-box undefined thinking.  There is a time for endless vision.  There is a time for big picture thinking about re-inventing the industry you're in, flipping it all on it's head.  This BIG thinking will drive big change.  But this big thinking comes with real big risk.  

Real business is rarely about big change.  In real-life, creative thinkers are more often than not focused on defined objectives and instructed to leverage defined solution sets and tools to solve old problems.  We may occasionally ask the creative thinkers of different disciplines to come together but rarely do we truly look to shake things up.  We know what works acceptably well and we milk the margins of creativity to try to drive incrementally better business.  And this works.  Until it doesn't.

There's a time and a place for the wild west.  If you need radical change and have are ready to lay it all on the line, bring in the big minds.  By all means, shake it up and go for the ride.

But if you want a sustained, profitable business you probably don't need to and shouldn't be shaking it up all too often.  You need passionate change agents.  You need systematic, smart thinkers.  And as a leader, it's your job to bring them together to drive sustained, strategic innovation, discovery and ultimately, change.

Key Takeaway

Know yourself and know your business.  If you need to change, be ready for change and communicate this accordingly.  If you just want to do things a little bit better, don't go looking at multi-million dollar concepts that challenge everything.  Embrace your reality.