In the novel by journalist Miqui Otero “Hilo Musical”, there is a beautiful phrase that says:
“Swim with other fish who know new routes”
A literary way of saying that others can help us discover a whole lot more than what we can learn on our own. Firstly because our knowledge is limited and secondly, because we don’t always get the chance to discover something new, regardless of how much we already know or how much interest we have.
With that in mind, what better way of thinking of our company, or ourselves, than as a big bank of fish that has always swum in the same direction, day after day, year after year, pursuing different objectives, but tracing the same routes. This makes it impossible to reach any other destination.
From the point of view of innovation, this little metaphor makes every member of the company responsible for contributing his or her knowledge and showing others his or her proposed “route”. At the same time, this reminds us that every one of us must be proactive in our search for colleagues who can show us new routes. What this entails, in other words, is the application of transversality in innovation processes where all available agents have the opportunity to get involved.
It is not much use to have watertight compartments where each process or idea is developed in isolation and limited by the knowledge of a few, who always know the same things.
We need to open up innovation processes.