Where do the great ideas and advancement in your company come from? We usually know the lead… Who is pushing for it, who is the project manager, and even sometimes it walks down the stairs doing a late entrance to the ball in the form of an email or a formal meeting.
But… Where did the idea come from? Usually, it comes from the edges, the shallow waters. From the hands of the people executing the task or when their boss hears their struggle or their insight into how something can change.
Then, it usually scales up to a management position, and then it is put into shape and starts to get traction, here is when you get informed via that email or meeting. It is no longer an idea, it is now a plan.
Traverse the edges, bathe in it. The core is boring, it has been devised to be. There is too much to lose… We require it to be stable and minimize risk.
Let’s take a look at Google. They nourished ideas from the edge. They have (or maybe used to) a policy that their employees must spend 20% of their time working on ideas and projects that interest them.
So they have a lot of features and products that came from the edge. Here is a couple of them.
Gmail: Leading email client with 53% market share of US emails in 2020
Adsense: 20.94% of all ads shown on the web
Google News: News aggregator in over 35 languages. It launched in 2002.
Atlassian: A company with 1.61 billion in revenue as of July 2020
TargetProcess: SCRUM software company launched in 2004. Categorized as Leader in Gartner 2020.
Image by NOAA Photo Library