The idea of learning a craft offers us a useful metaphor for the world of innovation. We know it’s not magic - creating value from ideas doesn’t simply happen when a light-bulb flashes above someone’s head. It involves a journey, one as fraught with uncertainty and nasty surprises as any of my interstellar jaunts. And whilst each journey is unique there’s a pattern to them which is shared; innovation involves key stages from ideation right through to capturing value. Whether we are in the public or private sector, working in a start-up or part of a large established organization the same challenges emerge.
Making the journey is going to require considerable skill if we are to avoid crashing somewhere along the way. But learning these skills doesn’t have to be a matter of trial and error alone. Just like in the medieval Guilds there is a wealth of accumulated experience which can be passed on as we make the journey from apprentice to Master.
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