Take a ball of pizza dough.
Now pull as hard and as fast as you can on all the edges. What do you get? The world’s largest, least satisfying bagel, a tiny thin ring of dough.
Take your ball of dough and press down on it really hard, right in the middle. What do you get? A hard lump of compacted dough that at best will be a poor loaf of bread and at worst will be an inedible brick.
Take your ball of dough and knead it from the center outward, punching down the air bubbles, roll it out for consistency, then toss in the air. You’ve got the foundation for a great pizza.
Innovation is no different.
If you race for the edges, for the latest and greatest, with no buy in from the core of the company and no strategy, you create something thin and useless, ultimately failing in your mission.
If you play it safe and clamp down on everything, never risking, demanding risk analysis, studies, and metrics for even the slightest change, you create stagnation so bad that you can’t grow or change even when the situation demands it, ultimately failing in your mission.
If you work evenly and together, with risk takers and decision makers in alignment, balancing each other out, punching down the excess hype but retaining levity and conversation, and make your great leap of faith together, you might just make the next great thing.
So, which are you doing right now?
Which do you want to be doing?
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