Different is Interesting

Different is InterestingWe’re risk averse. We don’t like change. That’s why we don’t innovate.

And yet, we choose change all the time. We get married, we have kids, we move to a new location, we take a new job, we read a book, we have an idea, we travel someplace, we hear a new song, we do something different. All the time, voluntarily.

Of course, our tendencies to seek out different and new things varies. Venkatash Rao addresses this in a fascinating post called Cloud Mouse, Metro Mouse. It’s an excellent piece, and well worth reading. He updates the Country Mouse, City Mouse parable for the digital age, saying:

Metro mice exult in the potential of superlinear urban growth, and rhapsodize about how large cities grow more productive and energy-efficient as they scale. Cloud mice accept those empirical realities, but regard the glorification of the megacity as a case of putting lipstick on a (necessary) pig.

The differences arise from whether physical or virtual experiences have primacy in the mind of each. For metro mice, digital realities are about enhancing material realities. For cloud mice, material realities merely help enable primary digital realities.

It is easy to figure out which kind you are. In a new metro area, do you first seek out variety via Yelp, to find the best local coffee shop? Or do you first seek out familiarity, via the Starbucks app, to find a Starbucks location to turn into your temporary local home?

So with that in mind, check this out:

Do something different with soap, and all of sudden everyone is a city mouse – ready to try something new. Of course, we wouldn’t get 95% hand-washing if every public bathroom had this soap.

The video comes from the Fun Theory project, which came up with a number of creative ways to solve common problems. The project came up with a lot of novel ideas, but it’s hard to tell how many of them would provide long-term solutions.

And yet, there has to be something to this approach. The project is a great way to get around the need for familiarity – and this is an important step in innovation. If you combine this meeting a genuine need, then you’re onto something. That’s the design thinking approach to innovation.

Even the cloud mice aren’t averse to change. We just need to find ways to meet their needs.

image credit: think different image from bigstock

Don’t miss an article (4,800+) – Subscribe to our RSS feed and join our Innovation Excellence group!
Clearworks - Customers, Connections, Clarity


Tim KastelleTim Kastelle is a Lecturer in Innovation Management in the University of Queensland Business School. He blogs about innovation at the Innovation Leadership Network.

This entry was posted in Creativity, Design, Innovation, Strategy and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Different is Interesting

  1. Pingback: Innovation Excellence | Different is Interesting | Art of Hosting | Scoop.it

  2. Pingback: Articles of Interest – October 12, 2012 « National Creativity Network

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Keep Up to Date

  • FeedBurner
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Slideshare
  • Email
  • YouTube
  • IPhone
  • Amazon Kindle
  • Stumble Upon

Innovation Authors - Braden Kelley, Julie Anixter and Rowan Gibson

Your hosts, Braden Kelley, Julie Anixter and Rowan Gibson, are innovation writers, speakers and strategic advisors to many of the world’s leading companies.

“Our mission is to help you achieve innovation excellence inside your own organization by making innovation resources, answers, and best practices accessible for the greater good.”