Just Enough Structure and No More
Sir Ken Robinson is well known for his contributions to education. In his latest TED talk, he discusses how mechanistic “command and control” structures and delivery systems that TEACH often don’t result in LEARNING. The parallels between how structure impacts education in schools and innovation in organizations is interesting. Too much of the wrong kind of structure in organizations discourages creativity and innovation. All too often organizations develop mechanistic structures in an attempt to improve and “manage” innovation. Unfortunately, the structures often discourage innovation and consequently, there is no innovation to manage. Part of this is the legacy of Peter Drucker who proposed that management is about prediction. While Drucker made many important contributions to management, prediction, is at odds with innovation. These concepts are embedded in the design principle of elegance. If one can predict it, it isn’t very innovative. For more, sit back and watch Ken Robinson’s latest TED talk.