Thursday, July 26, 2007

UIE: Interview with Scott Berkun

UIE has posted a short interview with Scott Berkun, author of The Myths of Innovation, which I have reviewed previously.

The best part of the interview is Berkun's response when asked whether there are situations when teams should NOT focus on innovation. Berkun replies:

Yes! Thanks for asking! I think innovation is overrated. Customers don't care about how innovative you are. They just want to be happy and satisfied. And that's about good design.

The best advice I can give is to focus on people and their problems. Few great innovators worried about anything else. The fact that they found a new idea had more to do with their passion for solving someone's problem than anything else. Innovation is a huge distraction these days. That's one of the myths I hope people will understand how to dispel from reading the book or attending my seminars.

I thought this was great, because I've always felt there was something hokey when companies encourage innovation for the sake of innovation. Who cares about innovation if the innovation is useless? The trick is create a culture in which problems that don't seem to have an existing solution are seen as opportunities for innovation, rather than dead ends. It's all about problem solving.

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