Rule Breakers: You Can Make Innovation Happen!


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I got some interesting comments to my blog post on how big and small companies are different when it comes to innovation. On LinkedIn, Mark Palmer, a communication advisor, wrote that “big companies preoccupy themselves with competitors, the market and the rules. Small companies are more inclined to make up new rules.”

Having started companies myself and having worked for many years with both startups and big companies, I could only agree on this. Of course, we need rules to play by, but sometimes they do need to be bend – or perhaps even broken – to make real progress.

The idea of breaking the rules – in the “right” way – is intriguing and I did some research on Google. I stumbled into a great article by Malcolm Gladwell who uses his powerful technique of presenting ideas in a different way to make us re-think how smaller companies should innovate.

This is a snippet from the article:

“What happened, Arreguín-Toft wondered, when the underdogs likewise acknowledged their weakness and chose an unconventional strategy? He went back and re-analyzed his data. In those cases, David’s winning percentage went from 28.5 to 63.6. When underdogs choose not to play by Goliath’s rules, they win, Arreguín-Toft concluded, “even when everything we think we know about power says they shouldn’t.

The article, How David Beats Goliath: When Underdogs Break the Rules by Gladwell, is definitely worth a read.

Paul Sloane, a friend of mine, also reveals a method on how to challenge the fundamental assumptions of your business in this article, Break the Rules to Reveal Innovation Opportunities.

Perhaps you can share other insights, experiences and cases on how we break the rules to win in the game of innovation?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Stefan Lindegaard
Stefan is an author, speaker, facilitator and consultant focusing on open innovation, social media tools and intrapreneurship.


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