Innovation Requires You to Expose “Nakedness”


In Hans Christian Andersen’s classic short story - “The Emperor’s New Clothes” a vain emperor is hoodwinked by those working for him to believe that his new suit of clothes are made from a fabric that is invisible to anyone who is “hopelessly stupid.” Everyone in the community plays along until an honest child blurts out the truth - setting off a chain reaction of awareness.  As Jack Zipes wrote, “Sight becomes insight, which, in turn, prompts action.”

It’s the same with Innovation.

At it’s most basic - Innovation is change.

And change requires someone to have the energy to speak up and declare that the existing way is not right.  Change also requires courage  - because when you speak up there is always the chance that you will be marked as “hopelessly stupid.”

We all become the Emperor when we don’t confront the realities around us.

- When we don’t say something when we know an idea we are working on is wrong.

- When we accept stupid rules that prevent us from innovating.

- When we don’t speak truth because we are concerned about what others will think

It’s time to speak up and Expose Nakedness!

The good news is - - - Exposing Nakedness is - a TON OF FUN!

Over the past two weeks I’ve been part of two different hands on innovation problem solving sessions for two different categories.   In the process I’ve seen and felt the power of exposing nakedness and confronting established ways of thinking.

The result has been a half dozen patents and some wow… and I mean WOW inventions.  Inventions that take your breath away.   True LEAP innovations that will ignite and excite customers.

The key to both sets of inventions was a willingness to expose nakedness by challenging the established way of thinking!

So what are you waiting for?

Get up! Get out! Get going!