Innovation– Relentless Pursuit of Inefficiency: Waste is Very Important for Innovation

Mess is the message! Mess is quintessentially American. Mess is not inefficiency… According to George Will; it’s productive “yeastiness and creative fermentation.” Mess is important! Inefficiency is important! Waste is important! The objective of growth companies and the whole concept of entrepreneurial work are to negate painstaking, decades-long pursuit of efficiency by creating exceptional customer value through innovation. The objective is to leapfrog what’s already there, and gain a significant business advantage through improved customer value.

A business process based approach to organizational change and innovation keeps your focus on the customer. Whereas, searching for waste and inefficiency looks inwardly and misses the point of why your organization exists… Your organization does not exist to become more efficient. Strange; most organizational interventions focus on efficiency; doing things better, faster, cheaper. Sometimes, they may even focus on effectiveness, doing the right thing.

And that is why the vast majority of interventions fail. Most interventions confuse the means with the end, with the means becoming the end because means are more easily measurable. So efficiency becomes the goal… Your customers receive improved value through innovation, and creating value for your customers means putting your customers at the core of your business analysis.

Creating efficiency within your organization is much simpler, just do-work that creates no-value for your customer. Did you know that 60% or more of all work done in service organizations add-no-value for your customer? Eliminating non-value-adding work means changing the way you do business: Innovate… Doing it right the first time is impossible. Nobody does anything “innovative” right the first time. Innovation means messing around; trying things, and messing things up, again and again and again. That is “waste”, but “good waste”.