Thursday, April 01, 2010

CONSTRAINT CREATES INNOVATION...

This quote has not left my mind... 
"People think that constraints are innovation inhibitors. They aren't. Unconstrained efforts are often undisciplined efforts that lead to immaterial results. The right constraints in the right places can be innovation accelerators. Constraints can focus creativity where it is most needed. Constraints can help ensure investment flows to where it provides the highest returns.
In fact, this simple statement from CloudAve.com is blowing my mind... Each of us have 15,000 thoughts per day. Can you believe it? Add to this the requirement to choose/think/facebook/kids/work/play/the census/healthcare/ideas/bathroom breaks/and GROCERY SHOPPING!!! And you can see why LESS IS MORE... But the CloudAve article goes on to address the issues of constraint and the ongoing demands of our web-based economy. Through an HP Labs study, which highlights the fact that workers are "asked" to participate in web-based communication/collaboration tools, but feedback loops don't occur and thus contributing members decide NOT to participate. Thus, would constraining collaboration demands produce better workers? According to HP:
"The attention economy motivates participation in peer-produced sites on the Web like YouTube and Wikipedia. However, this economy appears to break down at work. We studied a large internal corporate blogging community using log files and interviews and found that employees expected to receive attention when they contributed to blogs, but these expectations often went unmet. Like in the external blogosphere, a few people received most of the attention, and many people received little or none. Employees expressed frustration if they invested time and received little or no perceived return on investment. While many corporations are looking to adopt Web-based communication tools like blogs, wikis, and forums, these efforts will fail unless employees are motivated to participate and contribute content. We identify where the attention economy breaks down in a corporate blog community and suggest mechanisms for improvement.
So why participate? Well, the fact is your job might depend on it... However, as managers, the goal should be to only launch the right projects at the right time and layer on a "sense of urgency" or CONSTRAINTS to drive innovation and success. Otherwise, constrain yourself!

Thank you to http://www.flickr.com/photos/qmnonic/218410335/ for the great picture.
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