Updated: Apr 28, 2022
By Lynn Hinderaker, innovation expert, partner in NEWbraska Ecosystem (newbraska.com)
Standing on the playground watching my seven-year-old granddaughter interact with other kids from the neighborhood, I realized I was watching a powerful-but-playful metaphor for business innovation.
ACTIONABLE CREATIVITY: THE PLAYGROUND TEACHES US HOW
People don’t really have to know each other
in order to come up with new configurations, spontaneous project-games,
new ways to climb up and down and across a problem,
spanning customer quirks and a slippery, metallic range of solutions
quick ways to test an idea on top of a sandcastle,
hang onto a problem, swing with a problem,
grab onto a big idea before you fall,
climb a rocky wall of what-ifs, walls with colorful traction
slip and slide over a challenge and a choice,
new ways to understand the problem,
new ways to grip a solid possibility that looms 12 inches above your extended arms
new ways to build bonds with virtual strangers, happy to help
tag, you're it
Who's got the end user now?
Who's got the features, the problems, the technology?
Who's changing the rules?
jumping into the action with no clear agenda but to CONNECT and AUGMENT
chaos and community
newness and nowness
whatever is going on in the moment.
This way, that way,
worth a creative glance, a scenario
There it is at the bottom which is actually the top
What's the downside? Is it steep? Does it go fast?
Spinning round and round, back and forth, down and up
Climb to the top of what could be.
Look at everything above and below.
Where's the value? The uniqueness?
Move quickly, then stop, review the lay of the land,
"Where are we now? Where have we been?
What's left for us to climb?
Is this slip-and-slide, rompin' stompin journey over?
Is it time to go home already?
This is the playground of innovation, of tribes flung together
by spirit and sweat, by nascent profits, emotional stories, then gone.
What’s left behind?
A discarded mission statement.
Old hat resistance. Baggage.
New heroes on a horse.
Memories of an unexpected birth.
One last slide.
Sand in your shoes.