“There is something unpredictable about beauty. You cannot organise or plan the moment when the right inspiration will come to you.” — Carlo Pignataro, EP 200, the Innovation Show
In his autobiography, U2 frontman Bono shares that he cannot predict when he will be inspired to write a new song. In particular, he emphasises that he cannot force himself to be creative, because instead of an act of creativity and beauty, it would become one of manufacture. Instead, he creates an environment where he can “stumble upon” inspiration.
This is a beautiful analogy for how legacy organisations must create an environment for people to “stumble upon” innovation. For this to happen people need a “psychologically safe” environment where they feel confident to share half-baked ideas, suggested improvements and can call out inefficiencies. They can do this without fear of reprimand. As discussed in an episode of the Innovation Show with Amy Edmondson psychological safety is the soil in which ideas can germinate, grow and thrive. The soil is only part of the equation, but it is the most difficult to get right in a legacy organisation. Innovation arises spontaneously from the relationships, interactions, and convictions of the organisation. Innovation can be encouraged but not manufactured.
“Lack of awareness of the basic unity of organism and environment is a serious and dangerous hallucination.” — Alan Watts
To create new insights and new outputs, we need new knowledge, new inputs, new thinking, which enables us to create new and novel connections. To make those connections, we need both time and permission to do so. To speak up to share our ideas, we need courage. Courage is underpinned by the trust that colleagues or superiors will neither ridicule nor shame us. The most important thing a leader can do is to create the right environment, because the organism and the environment are inextricably linked, they are transactional.
Creating an innovation team and assigning a member of one organisation to another organisation for a temporary period is a positive step, but it is not enough to change the DNA of an organisation. Yes, there will be some new products and new initiatives, but it will not make the organisation more innovative. It will signal some change, but it will not change the organisation. Instead of waiting for someone to become inspired to innovate, or worse, forced to innovate, we need to create an environment where we can stumble upon inspiration.
Thanks for Reading
Episode 200 is “Serve with Style Customer Service in the Age of Experience and Ai” with Carlo Pignataro
We live in the era of experience, and against a growing number of chatbots and automated systems, we paradoxically expect businesses to invest more and more in human traits such as listening, willingness, and values.
So, what has customer service become today?
What path should you take if you work in direct contact with the audience but do not want to be engulfed by the tsunami of technology?
How should companies get ready for this if they do not want to be caught unawares?
Serve with Style raises vital questions for every market player.
It offers a specific path to help develop methods of organisation and professional skills which are becoming increasingly priceless in today’s business world and will be essential tomorrow.
Have a listen:
More about Carlo here: www.carlopignataro.com