Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Innovation Lessons from Visual Perception and Walks

I was just out on a walk at the lovely Shoreline park, just behind where I work. I was walking along, thinking about Innovation challenges, and passively observing the world go by.

One of the things I noticed was the phenomenon of Motion Parallax. Things in the distance really didn't seem to move much, but things near me zipped past me quickly.

It occurred to me that there was a lesson here for teams who are trying to be innovative.

If you try to address something that is off in the distance, you can keep an eye on it and it doesn't move much as you move towards it. If you head off to one direction or another, it's still there. However, if you choose to address something that is nearby, it will zip past you very quickly.

For a bigger impact, focus on the goals that are out in the distance. They are easier to aim for...

For a quicker, but small impact, focus on the goal close to you. But, be careful... it's a moving target and the opportunity may zip past you before you are able to make the change.

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