Below is an yet another interesting remark in the book- "Inside steve's brain"
When asked by Rob Walker, a New York Times reporter, if he ever consciously thinks about innovation, Jobs responded "No. We consciously think about making great products. We don't think, 'Lets’ be innovative! Lets take a class! Here are the five rules of innovation, let’s put them up all over the company!" Jobs said trying to systemize innovation is "Like somebody who's not cool trying to be cool. It's painful to watch...Its like watching Michael Dell try to dance. Painful."
Image Source: http://m2.wnymedia.net/files/2009/11/innovation.jpg
Well, i see pearls of wisdom existing in above statement about Innovation. In most of the organizations, the employees are "asked" to be innovative or are given training on how to be innovative. (To be clear, i have nothing against such trainings in general.) How many times have you heard the statements like-
"You should have found the creative solution"
"Why cant you think a bit more innovatively to solve the underlying problem ?"
"Lets think out of box"
"Please think of creative test ideas"
"Try and think beyond boundaries and solve the problem at hand"
After reading Steve Jobs' notion about Innovation, it really makes me wonder whether the above statements about "trying" to make an individual innovative really had a profound effect. Did it really change the world ? Hearing these statements- does it really raises one's Innovativeness quotient ?
Every time I think, the answer is more leaned towards a "No". While encouragement and motivation are required in any situation, but per my experience an individual does not really become creative by a constant push from someone or by some sort of weekly training. I believe at the root of every innovation or a discovery (no matter how small it may be) is a burning desire to do something or make a difference. In the case of Jobs' it is that inherent desire to make great products. If a deep passion is missing, no matter what anyone says- Innovative ideas will cease to exist or die after a short burst.
From my profession, a tester will be genuinely creative only if he desires to and takes immense pride in releasing products that the customers can use with ease and without issues. It is this desire (apart from necessary skills) that will drive him to regularly come up with test ideas that matter.
If for innovation sake, somebody gives a direction to tester to find creative test ideas- it will lead to directionless Innovation, which is often a waste of time and resources.
Citing another instance from the same book below.
Wanton Innovation is wasteful. There must be a direction, something to pull it all together. Some Silicon Valley companies develop new technologies and then go in search of problems for those technologies to solve. Take the Internet bubble of late 1990s. The bubble was defined by this kind of thinking. It was a carnival of worthless innovation- half-baked business ideas pumped into vast money-burning concerns in a misguided attempt to get big quick and beat the competition.
Do drop in your comments!