Why Kirk Beats Spock at Innovation by Jeffrey Phillips

innovationexcellence.com / view original

DeM Banter:  Yes, I know I have the penchant for being a bit of a geek… come on man, I have light sabers in my office!  But there is much truth in the article below and we see it day to day in our organization.  We also see it in the individuals/future leaders the organization is trying to recruit.  We are not looking to promote the best leaders with the most experience…we are trying to promote those that have the best GPA or at worst the ones that think like everyone else… Kirk has/had his issues… all geeks know that, but let’s sub Picard for Kirk… the point is we need bold leaders who think different, mavericks, innovators, enlightened rebels and we need technical experts. Not just the Spocks.  

gallery_62_233262There’s a mistake being played out in your organization when it comes to staffing innovation projects. You are likely staffing them with a bunch of “Spocks”, people who know a lot about the subject and have deep expertise. While this may look like a dream team, I can assure you that staffing a bunch of Spocks is not helpful and can be harmful.  You need at least a few Kirks in the mix to create a balanced team capable of generating interesting innovation.

For those of you born before the TV Show that started it all, James T (for Tiberius) Kirk was the commander of the Enterprise, a spaceship out to “boldly go where no one had gone before”. Spock was the chief science officer, a Vulcan who is (supposedly) devoid of human emotion and who makes all decisions based on logic and reason. Kirk and Spock make a great team because they complement each other. Kirk makes decisions based on his emotions, his instinct and his gut. Spock counters with the reasons why Kirk’s planned actions are “illogical” or don’t fit the data. Kirk experiments, creates problems with impulsive decision making and usually wins the day by doing something Spock (and Kirk’s adversaries) didn’t expect him to do. Kirk demands more than his people and his ship should be able or willing to offer. Kirk rejects the rules and tries to apply his own rules to any situation. And yes I know there were other spin-offs and other Star Trek series and movies, but they pale in comparison to the original.

Why this is pertinent to innovation : READ MORE

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