Innovation Quotes of the Week – June 3, 2012

Innovation Quotes of the Week - June 3, 2012This week we continue a featured series of some of my favorite innovation-related quotes. Please contribute your favorite innovation quotes in the comments and I’ll feature the best submissions in next week’s Innovation Quotes of the Week!


“So healthy paranoia is the friend of innovation. Complacency is the enemy – be ruthless in driving it out of your business.”

- Kevin McFarthing


“Variation, or hedging as it’s called in the venture capital community, is essential because it accelerates the failure cycle and quickens the discovery of the valuable solution. Innovation requires deviation; deviation requires deviants.”

- Jeff DeGraff


“It is not enough to simply go through the motions. In order to build our abilities, cognitive or otherwise, we must think about what we’re doing, concentrate while we’re doing it and then review what we have done. Further, we need to seek out mentors and peers who will critique our efforts.”

- Greg Satell


“The more successful an organization becomes the bigger it gets. The bigger it gets the more it focuses on optimizing its resources. The more it optimizes it resources the more it eliminates variation. Innovation requires variation. We have seen the enemy and he is us.”

- Jeff DeGraff


“If you get people to ‘freely’ talk about innovation, its importance, its impact and can ‘paint’ the future in broad brush strokes, they achieve a growing clarity and enthusiasm and that often missing critical component – a sense of shared identity.”

- Paul Hobcraft


“Organizations love to run the aforementioned innovation processes through the middle of the enterprise which is designed to eliminate variation. Think about your metrics, hurdle rates and stage-gate systems and it becomes clear that these practices are designed to created stability through standards, policies and similar controls. Innovation moves from the outside of the bell curve, where risk and reward are reversed, and moves to middle over time.”

- Jeff DeGraff


“Look around you, everything that you see at some point had someone say “that is just impossible!”, “it will never happen!” And yet we have innovated beyond belief and continue to do so.”

- Linda Bernardi


“Leaders need to ambidextrous and have the range to move through the organization to connect the dots of innovation. Most organizations have tremendous innovation capabilities concentrated in businesses or locations but often lack high practiced leaders who can move between them.”

- Jeff DeGraff


“Every bursted bubble has a glory! Each abysmal failure makes a point! Every glowing path that goes astray, shows you how to find a better way. So every time you stumble never grumble. Next time you’ll bumble even less! For up from the ashes, up from the ashes, grow the roses of success!”

- From the movie “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”


“The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas.”

- Dr. Linus Pauling
- submitted by Khululeka Khumalo


“All our dreams can come true if we have the desire to pursue them.”

- Walt Disney


“If you obey all the rules you miss all the fun.”

- Katharine Hepburn


“Visionary people are visionary partly because of the very great many things they don’t see.”

- Berkeley Rice


“Ideas must work through the brains and the arms of good and brave men or they are no better than dreams.”

- Ralph Waldo Emerson


Pre-Order Nine Innovation Roles Group Diagnostic Tool


And here a few of the many thoughts that I added to the conversation during the week on Twitter and elsewhere:

  • “The United States leads the world in innovation because it has created the perfect storm of a risk tolerant citizenry, where failure is sometimes a badge of honor, and a government that invests in basic research, helps to commercialize it, and for the most part tends to go out of the way from a regulatory standpoint.”
  • “Too often we treat people as commodities that are interchangeable and maintain the same characteristics and aptitudes. Of course, we know that people are not interchangeable, yet we continually pretend that they are anyway — to make life simpler for our reptile brain to comprehend.”
  • “It is in identifying which of The Nine Innovation Roles are vacant (or sub-optimally filled) that you will be able to see some of the areas where your efforts are likely to come up short, and then can take actions to improve your chances of innovation success.”
  • “You can’t really innovate for the past (your offering won’t be innovative and will be beaten easily by competitors). If you innovate for the future, then adoption will be slow until customers become ready. The trick is to task your insights team to provide guidance for the future present.”

What are some of your favorite innovation quotes?

Add one or more to the comments, listing the quote and who said it, and I’ll share the best of the submissions as future Innovation Quotes of the Week!

And to all the innovation consultants out there, submit something clever you’ve said and maybe we’ll run it next week.

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Braden KelleyBraden Kelley is a popular innovation speaker, embeds innovation across the organization with innovation training, and builds B2B pull marketing strategies that drive increased revenue, visibility and inbound sales leads. He is the creator of the Nine Innovation Roles Group Diagnostic Tool and author of Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire from John Wiley & Sons. He tweets from @innovate.

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2 Responses to Innovation Quotes of the Week – June 3, 2012

  1. Friso Schuring says:

    “Innovation is not the product of logical thought, although the result is tied to logical structure.” (Albert Einstein)

  2. Pingback: Articles of Interest 6/8/2012 « National Creativity Network

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