That's the conundrum that immediately presented itself when I first saw a recent study on innovation. How can the rules of scientific discovery be applied to something so intrinsically creative? It's that whole left brain, right brain deal.
Centuries ago, the world was flat (or so held the theory); later, we discovered it was round. Now, however, Tom Friedman tells us the world is, in fact, flat again because of the astounding and far-reaching impact of globalization in every sense of term. And in that context he's absolutely right. So, suspending my skepticism for my natural curiosity, I remembered that last year we recognized, as a KMWorld Trend-Setting Product, Idea Central V.6 from Imaginatik, a suite of software tools designed to facilitate the innovation process. Enterprises now have "chief innovation officers," and, in the wisest of organizations, innovation itself has become a critical initiative.
With all that in mind, there's really no reason why innovation can't be a science, and it was an easy decision to read the Delphi Group's "Innovation: From Art to Science," which addresses a survey it conducted in February.
If Imaginatik is helping set a trend by facilitating innovation with its tools, the Delphi Group is doing similar work through its research and consulting practice. When you think about it, what could be more important to any organization than innovation (going hand in hand, of course, is execution). Check out the initial findings of the survey at KMWorld.