Working with Dolphins

Categories: Innovation Insights

Innovation Management systems require a lot of people work to make it worthwhile. You need to work with leaders to make sure there is direction. You need to have an active champion or ringmaster to engage everyday employees. You need to get individuals to share their precious ideas (or kick-start their creative juices on the problem at hand). You need to … and on and on.

From a technology point of view, this is largely a simplistic process. There is nothing like the complexity of keeping an airplane in the sky, monitoring a nuclear power station, or handling 500 calls an hour to a call center. Where things go awry is when you add people – human beings – to the equation. Humans are absolutely amazing creatures, but they can also drive you nuts. Dealing with five or six in a brainstorm is manageable, but try steering 1,000 people who do not know each other to contribute high value content for a brand new business problem. These are the problems I deal with in my work every day.

So, I decided to take a radical approach. I was reminded of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (on a flight from Boston to LA) and their view that humans were only the third most intelligent creature on earth. The second were dolphins. Now I will not go into detail why they were so intelligent, how they demonstrated their intelligence, or who were the most intelligent creatures on the planet (you will have to read the book or watch the movie).

Suffice to say that I have now got a new goal: in 2006 I would like to start working more with dolphins. All I am wondering is if anyone had developed a large, waterproof keyboard that works for tail flips and nose bounces. Any ideas?


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