March 10, 2012

Introducing the Innovation Engine

After two years of writing, my new book, inGenius, will be released on April 17. It isn't a long book, but it certainly took me a long time to write. In fact, I started over and over again as I tried to make sense of all the factors that influence and enhance creativity in individuals, teams, and organizations. I began with the material I used to teach courses on creativity and innovation at Stanford, and soon realized that my view was much too narrow.

It became clear that although creativity is generated internally and can be stimulated by mastering skills such as reframing problems, challenging assumptions, and connecting and combining ideas, creativity is also deeply influenced by what we know, the spaces in which we work, the people on our team, the rules, rewards, and constraints in our environment, and by our own attitude and the culture of our community.

I’ve created a new model—the Innovation Engine— that illustrates how all these factors work in concert to enhance creativity. I chose the word “engine” because it, like the word “ingenious,” is derived from the Latin word for innate talent and is a reminder that these traits come naturally to all of us.

The 3 parts on the inside of the Innovation Engine are knowledge, imagination, and attitude:
  • Your knowledge provides the fuel for your imagination.
  • Your imagination is the catalyst for transforming knowledge into ideas.
  • Your attitude is the spark that sets the Innovation Engine in motion.

The 3 parts on the outside of your Innovation Engine are resources, habitat, and culture.
  • Resources are all the assets available to you.
  • Habitat includes the space, rules, constraints, and people around you.
  • Culture is the collective beliefs, values, & behaviors of your community.

Like creativity, at first glance the Innovation Engine might look complex. Over the course of the book, I take apart the Innovation Engine and examine its six components. I then put it back together and show how all the parts work in concert and influence one another to enhance creativity. Below is a prezi that introduces inGenius and the concept of the Innovation Engine. You can also click on the link below it to see the full size version.


Siddhartha Joshi said...

Great to see your post Tina, I was one of the fellows at the Clark Center last Friday :)

I look forward to the launch and would hopefully be able to get a copy signed by you at the launch! All the best for everything and we would surely be in touch...

Henrique Fudissaku said...

You're amazing! I want to tattoo the Innovation Engine all over my body! :)