Innovation is inefficient. Innovation is embracing uncertainty.
You’re standing in a big vast room. And everywhere around, you see doors. There are so many doors that the walls, the ceiling and the floor of the room are actually made up of doors. There’s nothing that resembles a normal piece of wall. It’s just doors, doors and doors. And all of these doors come in different shapes, sizes and materials.
Facing uncertainty means the start of innovation
The doors look familiar. Just imagine how many doors you’ve seen in your life. So yes, you can tell when a door is a door. But standing in there for a while you start noticing shapes and textures you couldn’t have possibly imagined.
You start walking around and at every step you discover new doors.
You feel overwhelmed. The sheer amount of possibilities! You start feeling restless.
And suddenly the immensity of the challenge you’re facing, grasps you. Behind one (or maybe several) of these doors you’ll find your next new idea. The idea that will lead to the next big thing and propel you or your organisation to the top.
Where and how to start? You realize that some doors will open easily and some will take years and years. So you want to know where the doors lead to, whether from the outside there’s something, a sign, a message that will tell what’s behind. You long for guidance. Not a lot, but just something.
You kneel down and start searching the door you’re standing on. There’s nothing and the door is closed. You feel disappointed and start scanning around. You see a door with a window, a tiny little window. And so you peep through. The door looks as if it will open easily.
Is it appealing enough to open the door? From what you see you’re not totally sure. Not totally unsure either. You’re already holding the doorknob, but you hesitate. Opening the door feels like a big step, as if there’s no way back. Nobody told you so and you don’t know if it’s true, but you feel that once you open the door, many other doors will remain closed, for good.
Maybe, this is the door you’ll be trying. Maybe not, maybe you’ll move to another door. But you’re now in the middle of the uncertainty you’re facing when you start innovating. And you know you’ll need to open more doors than just one. You’ll need to find out quickly but you’re not sure how to do that. You’ll need to learn quickly, without knowing what knowledge to seek.
Welcome to the innovation room.