8. October 2022
Break the Innovative Paradox
I enjoyed Jeff Dyer, Nathan Furr, and Michael Hendron’s article in MIT Sloan Magazine ‘Overcoming The Innovator’s Paradox.’ They interviewed 100+ innovative business leaders who transformed companies and industries with radical ideas while securing enough resources. The authors highlight idea amplifiers to help secure the resources for more daring, risky ideas:
- Comparing: finding the right analogy to convince supporters. E.g. “We’re the Airbnb of the X industry”
- Materializing: Making an abstract concept tangible. To convince the sceptical NASA for SpaceX, Musk parked a Falcon 1 in front of the NASA museum in WA, forcing them to engage.
- Storytelling: Crafting a narrative. Jack Ma used the emotionally compelling story about Alibaba’s quest to create a better future for small business owners in China by opening the internet frontier.
- Signalling: Connecting to credible groups that confer legitimacy on your idea, e.g. alliances, relationships, awards.
- Applying social pressure: Creating a sense of scarcity and having discussions with potential sponsors, employees, and partners in parallel.
- Committing: Convincing others through a visible, personal, irreversible action. E.g. investing substantial amounts or giving up a lucrative job.
What amplifiers have you seen work?