I have seen the enemy and he is us; industry blindness

Via Dan Pink via the new book “See New Now:”

A study of the top fifty game-changing innovations over a hundred-year period showed that nearly 80 percent of those innovations were sparked by someone whose primary expertise was outside the field in which the innovation breakthrough took place.

Could it be termed “industry blindness?"  Years of experience learning "how we do things” takes a toll upon in-industry creativity.  It’s the ability to take a process concept and apply it to a problem in another field that is the crucial skill.  The study mentioned above reveals that only 20 percent of the game-changing innovations came from within the industry.

It’s really difficult to critically investigate opportunity within one’s purview when all of your experience comes from one field.  The outlook is limited by tight focus.  Health care is especially prone to this problem because the vast majority of workers in the industry are lifetime members.

So consider hiring from outside health care when you can.  Encourage reading of all things not health care.  Reciprocate visits from professionals in other industries.  We often turn to each for help in solving our problems.  Here’s to asking someone the publishing industry.

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