Innovate or you make excuses


When a company or team decides to incorporate innovation into their day to day, which happens more and more frequently, they face a “something” that catalyzes nervousness and doubts in the face of uncertainty or indeterminacy. This something is called the self-excuse.

Incorporating a new habit into our routine entails unlearning and learning. Something similar to what happens with any habit that we want to improve, such as performing daily physical exercise. We have to break a previous habit (let’s say dedicate some time to reading) by putting on our shoes and going jogging. If this is repeated a sufficient number of times (some theorists speak of the 21 repetitions) we will stop struggling and jogging will become part of our routine.

But if one day is cloudy or we are more tired than usual, and we interrupt this cycle, we are likely to return to reading (which otherwise is not bad) and the shoes go back to a second or third plane.

With innovation something similar happens. We have millions of excuses for, at the least resistance we can find, to justify our return to old habits. And presto! the magic is broken. As N. Taleb says in his book The Black Swan, the human being is a crack at self-explaining and self-convincing that a certain thing never made sense or quite the opposite, that it always did. So that group of people who wanted to change things will probably end up explaining that an initiative did not make much sense. Or even worse, he will argue that such a great initiative never came into existence.

If we really want something to happen, we must strive to achieve it and not allow anything to get in our way. We must be disciplined, that is, be constant and have patience.

But first of all, there must be a real desire to incorporate this new “habit”.