In my journey through the world of digital product design and technology, I’ve seen that there are three ways innovation happens:
The Hero Way – This is an amazingly charismatic and visionary leader (think Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, Thomas Edison) who drives and drives and drives for change. He is often the primary, if not sole, source of the big ideas. Everyone else is his handmaiden.
The MBA Way – This is a world of process. It does work, but usually in larger organizations with bigger budgets. It’s traditionally championed by someone who has an MBA. The challenge here is that it’s too big a process for smaller businesses.
The Positive Turbulence Way – the best way to describe this experience is the dream team. Everybody is aligned with the mission, there is deep trust, ideas flow, and resources are in play most productively.
And while both the Hero Way and the MBA Way do result in innovation, I’ve seen that when organizations are in a state of Positive Turbulence, even if they don’t know it, getting new ideas through to execution feels seamless. There’s work to it for sure, but everyone is pulling in the same direction, and stuff just gets done.
In an organization consciously using Positive Turbulence, change doesn’t need to be managed so much as the organization is flowing with change.
So, what is Positive Turbulence? Positive Turbulence is a process that turns change into a productive force that leads to innovation and ongoing renewal*. There are 10 turbulating elements** that interplay to drive Positive Turbulence:
1. Pay Attention to the Periphery
2. Encourage Non-linear Thinking
3. New Patterns of Communication
4. Embrace Change and Diversity
5. Open Flow for Arts and Technology
6. Bring Positive Turbulence to Teams
7. Keep Turbulence Positive
8. Manage the Intensity of Turbulence
9. Ensure Periods of Renewal
10. Be Intentional About Positive Turbulence as Strategy
If you are interested in learning more about Positive Turbulence and connecting with an amazing community of innovators, check out AMI. Positive Turbulence is a core value of the organization. As a designer, strategist and innovator, I’ve found the AMI learning community to be not only inspirational and motivating, but authentic, and diverse.
*Taken from Positive Turbulence, by Stan Gryskiewicz