Controlled Imbalance as method for Innovation Assimilation

It is extremely difficult to communicate innovative approaches , services, methods from the think tanks to lower echelons. The ability to assimilate change and functionality is not the same at all levels of an enterprise.There is enough inertia in things getting done a certain – even dysfunctional – way, that innovation has to fight. Only _AFTER_ one proves that the new approach is better, faster _AND_ easier, then people start to apply themselves to it. Still the assimilation inertia can be a good thing, for example one does not generally want a staunch dependable and predictable employee to start goofing off with let’s say the accounting books, or the delivery routes.

Controlled imbalance seems to be the key factor in innovation management. Put people a bit out of balance in their daily work, and they will eagerly assimilate a new better way of doing things. For example, Turn off that damned mail server that works half of the time and they will find the time to be trained in the new server’s settings. I could go on forever, but it is really easy if you think about it. Stability is what everyone craves for even its false sense. Innovation, especially the disruptive kind, affects operational stability. So if one removes that illusion one can direct people towards a new paradigm.


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