You can’t Six Sigma your way to innovation. I said that to a business school audience a while back and made a lot of students and professors very angry. It undermined their belief system, devalued their curriculum and scared the heck out of the graduating class. But the truth is that Six Sigma is all about process and cost, while innovation is all about the new. Companies led by CEOs trained in Six Sigma (GE has “graduated” thousands of Six-Sigma trained managers) are finding it hard to shift paradigms.
So here’s a tip.Seth Godin has another book coming out called The Big Moo. Godin is a fast-talking, really smart, brand/marketing guru who hit it big with his previous book The Purple Cow. This time he’s asked 32 really smart thinkers to join him in writing a chapter each on innovation (The Group of 33). It’s an impressive crowd with a lot of wisdom. Among them are some of my favorite thinkers—Alan Webber, Malcolm Gladwell, Julie Anixter, Guy Kawasaki, Jacqueline Novogratz, Tom Kelley, Mark Cuban, Daniel Pink and on. All proceeds go to three charities. Godin is also selling the galleys to people who promise to buy a lot of hardcovers. That’s pretty creative.
Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.