Seth Godin recently made a post on his blog about putting yourself into an impossible position and then setting back and watching incredibly things happen.
Make big promises. Burn your boats. Set yourself up in a place where you have few options and the stakes are high. Focused energy and serious intent will push you to do your best work. You have nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. (Better than the alternative).
I'm a big believer of constraint based innovation where leaders purposefully restrict some key resource(s) (people, money, time, etc) and then force the team to solve the task by creating a unique approach given the constraint.
Seth takes this concept to an extreme. When I saw the post, I was challenged. Forced to look at my past work and ask myself if I've been too conservative. After spending the day thinking about the whole idea of “burning the boats”, I've come to agree with Seth that sometime you just need to say “to h*ll with it” and go after ideas that any sane person would see as being way beyond reasonable.
That's where the innovation frontier is … time to go exploring!
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