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Innovation and Work--Do They Mix?

Posted by: Bruce Nussbaum on July 26, 2006

“I have too much work to go to work.” Now, think about that sentence for a moment. I sent this to my boss recently—and he understood instantly. I now find that, increasingly I am more productive, more creative at home or on the road than in the office.

The nightmare of emails, meetings, calls, “can-you’s” is killing any time for thought, much less creative thought. With my Treo (which is increasingly acting like some nervous, jittery, high-strung bot, with the software bouncing around and the screen insensitive to the touch half the time—what is that all about?) and laptop, I can get out of the office and plug in whenever. In the office, the norm is being plugged in. Argh. We make a fetish of being grouped together, in a community and a conversation, to be innovative. But you have to unplug and get alone at times to make it work. At least for me. You?

Reader Comments

Christian Reed

July 26, 2006 8:07 PM

My best work gets done when I get turned on by a project and decide to shut everything else out.

Nick Powell

July 27, 2006 2:41 AM

Hear hear!

Nicolas Lehotzky

July 27, 2006 6:48 AM

It is a psychologically proven fact that distractions from a main task increase the time spent on it, and reduces the quality of the final. Pop-ups, can-you's and ringing phones have a negative effect on creative work.

Pratibha Jani

July 27, 2006 8:17 PM

I agree a 100%. For me to be innovative, I really need to focus. It usually starts with a problem I am having over a process or a system and think about how can I get to do this Better?
Just last year I completely innovated a process and saved about 70-75% of low value added work time for myself and many others.

Mary Wingren

August 1, 2006 9:39 PM

How about when you wake up 3 A.M. with a brilliant idea to solve a design dilema? A lot of times my breakthrough moments are drafting in the wee hours of the early morning. Now how do you clock in for those hours??

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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.

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