Jan 24, 2023

Zero to One

In his book "The Innovator's Dilemma," Clayton Christensen writes about the importance of disruptive innovation, which is the process of creating new markets and value networks that disrupt existing ones. This is the kind of innovation that can take a company from zero to one, from non-existence to dominance in an industry. But as Christensen explains, disruptive innovation is hard to understand and even harder to execute.

Similarly, creating space for innovative thinking within an organization is also challenging. People find it difficult to understand the impact that innovative thinking will have on their business, their goals and themselves. This is why it's important to separate innovative thinking into two categories: zero to one and one to 100.

Zero to one is when you don't have answers, data or insight. This is when an organization needs to trust the gut feeling and the expertise of the people in the room. It's important to give them the space to take risks, to think differently and to question assumptions. This is the kind of thinking that can lead to breakthroughs and disruptive innovation.

On the other hand, innovative thinking from one to 100 is when milestones matter. This is when you need to measure progress, set goals and establish a clear path to success. This is the kind of thinking that helps you optimize performance and achieve consistent results.

In order to embed and engender a spirit of innovative thinking within a team, it's important to be clear about which kind of thinking you're trying to foster. Give space for zero to one thinking and create co-created mile markers for one to 100 thinking. And most importantly, keep coming back to make space for zero to one thinking, because that's where the real breakthroughs happen.