Slow Innovation: decelerating in a high-speed world
Speed has long been seen as a trademark of innovative companies – maybe it’s time for a different approach; see how slow innovation can help you manage in a high-speed world.
Let’s face it, we live in a time where we expect everything done quickly. We praise the fastest sprinter, crave the fastest race cars, expect the fastest service, and demand the fastest Wi-Fi. But why are we so thrilled with speed? And does first or fastest always equate to the best?
Psychologists and philosophers believe that as humans we are addicted to the dopamine that is released from adrenaline spikes when we’re put into a fight or flight situation. And that the invention of the automobile has given us a taste of the speed we inherently crave.
And it’s no different in the business world. Speed and growth have become the gods of Silicon Valley, with ‘move fast and break things’ as their leading mantra. This concept of growth at all costs is less risky for disruptor brands than it is for large corporate giants. Nevertheless, it has infiltrated Fortune 500 conference rooms.
Most companies today have started to embrace this need for speed by jumping on new ways of working, inspired by startup culture, like Design Sprints, Accelerators, and Hackathons. The problem isn’t the speed of these techniques (which we actually love and practice ourselves), but rather as they become more popular and widely accessible, there is a greater chance of them being misled or misused. As the saying goes, there is no silver bullet for innovation. And a fast approach that is more ‘innovation theatre’ than impact won’t solve all your company concerns.
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