Being able to see “what has been carefully hidden” can be the difference between winning and losing. And most big companies are losing the innovation game.
Innovation and the Role of Outsiders:
So how do you create an organization where diversity of thought is valued? Making a conscious decision to hire people that are different from you, “outsiders”, may be a good place to start. According to an article in The Atlantic, “outsiders” are responsible for a striking number of inventions and innovations. In fact, Alph Bingham, Innocentive founder and former CEO, notes that “Ninety to 95 percent of the time, the individual who comes up with the awarded solution does not have the background and resume’ of someone you would hire to solve the problem.”
All outward appearances were that this old lady should not be taken seriously. Unfortunately for the salesperson, she had honed her negotiating skills with more than 10,000 hours of experience. Here is the story.
A Master at Work
One of my favorite things to do with my grandmother, Baba Vickie, was to go shopping. It didn’t matter what we were buying, it was just great to watch a master at work. One particularly memorable trip was to a department store to buy a couch for my college apartment. We walked into the store and I started moving towards the nearest salesperson when Baba stopped me. She whispered, “let’s go over and talk to the other salesperson” who was across the room. By the time we left the store, we bought the couch I wanted at a significant discount . . . with a few pillows and a lamp thrown in for…
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